Four-storey block of flats planned in town

A WAREHOUSE in Horsham’s Station Road could be pulled down and replaced with a four-storey block of flats.

The proposals are coming before Horsham District Council planners on Tuesday.

But officers are recommending councillors refuse the application for 11 flats (two one-bedroom and nine two-bedroom) and six parking spaces at 7 Station Road.

In a report to go before the development management committee, the applicant states the footprint of the proposed building is similar to the existing one and it would be slightly higher than neighbouring Bryce Lodge.

Most of the flats would have balconies and two groundfloor flats their own area of courtyard.

The report said in 2005 there was a resolution to grant planning permission for a three storey building consisting of eight two-bedroom and three one-bedroom flats with two parking spaces.

This was ‘the applicant’s fall back position should permission not be granted for the current proposals’.

The level of parking and the method of control of the car parking by the proposed occupiers of the flats were to form part of the S106 legal agreement.

Forest Neighbourhood Council strongly objected on the grounds of ‘over intensification’ of the site and said the four storey development would be ‘too dominant in this area’.

There were not enough parking spaces and access to this area was already problematic with bottlenecks at the entrance.

Station Road was an extremely busy road used as a driving route into town and by residents. Commuters also used the access road as the back entrance to the station as a drop-off point.

Horsham Society agreed about the shortage of parking spaces and said there should be one space per unit plus parking for visitors.

Three letters of objection were received by neighbours.

They said the proposed building was too tall and out of character with the three-storey developments and also mentioned the parking issue and road safety concerns.

Council officers said the site was in a sustainable location and the principle of high density was acceptable with good links to public transport and the town centre.

However, the building would not ‘sit well within the character of the surrounding area and is considered to be more visually obtrusive and imposing, and thus more noticeable and detrimental to the street scene’.