Residents have their say on future of town

Imagine Horsham exhibition
Imagine Horsham exhibition

Horsham residents have called for more to be done to attract visitors and keep young people entertained.

Horsham Blueprint held an exhibition in Swan Walk shopping centre earlier this month asking people to have their say on what they thought was important in the town.

Imagine Horsham event held by the Horsham Blueprint Neighbourhood  Forum

Imagine Horsham event held by the Horsham Blueprint Neighbourhood Forum

The forum, supported by the County Times, was approved by Horsham District Council in June last year and is in charge of creating a Horsham Neighbourhood Plan for the parts of the town not under the remit of a parish council.

Hundreds of people attended the Imagine Horsham workshop, held in the centre between April 8 to April 10, and feedback showed although many were happy with some elements of the town there were areas which could be improved.

Frances Haigh, chairman of Horsham Blueprint, said: “We were delighted with the response we had to our event in Swan Walk.

“We had hundreds of comments on cards and response sheets which will add to our evidence.”

More than 200 people took part in a survey on the day.

The survey found 80 per cent of people thought Horsham was welcoming to visitors, however, 74 per cent felt more should be done to promote the town.

Worries were raised about the increase in parking charges with 62 per cent saying they would shop elsewhere or on-line, although 56 per cent said they may change to travelling on foot, bike or bus.

The survey also found 75 per cent of people felt there was not enough activities for young people in the town.

About 78 per cent of people said they wanted more to be done to make it easier to work from home and almost 80 per cent of people also felt there were not enough public toilets in the town.

Mrs Haigh said: “Our next step is to produce an initial draft of the Neighbourhood Plan. An over-whelming wish for the town is that Horsham keeps its ‘market town’ feel, with its heritage, friendliness and strong sense of community.

“Accessibility is very important for all ages, with many people wishing for improved cycling paths, crossing places and bus routes.  

“Another high priority is keeping, protecting and enhancing our green spaces and planting.”

To see the full results of the survey visit www.horshamblueprint.org

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