Major plans to redevelop Horsham’s Piries Place could be approved by district councillors next week.
Developers are bidding to convert the former Waitrose store into an Everyman cinema, alongside a new 92-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, shops, and restaurants.
The buildings to the west and south of Piries Place would be retained and some refurbished.
The planning application has been recommended for approval by officers and is set to be discussed by Horsham District Council’s Planning Committee North on Tuesday (February 7).
In their report officers suggest Piries Place has fallen into a ‘rather tired and shabby condition’, and while the absence of a major retail destination has had a detrimental impact on surrounding businesses they noted that a new cinema, hotel and restaurants were unlikely to have a significant impact on daytime shopping footfall.
Both Horsham Denne Neighbourhood Council and the Horsham Society have objected with their main focus on the ‘overbearing nature’ of the proposed hotel building.
But officers concluded: “The proposed development is considered a high quality design that would serve to reinvigorate Piries Place in accordance with the aspirations of Policy 12 and the Horsham Town Plan SPD.
“The proposal would though cause some harm to the setting of the Horsham Conservation Area and the setting of Grade II listed buildings including the Carfax War Memorial and Bandstand, albeit in part offset by the significant setback of the hotel element of the development.”
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