Scrapping Horsham direction signs branded ‘wanton architectural vandalism’

Street signs removed from Horsham town centre (JJP/Johnston Press). SUS-150901-124702001
Street signs removed from Horsham town centre (JJP/Johnston Press). SUS-150901-124702001

‘Wanton architectural vandalism’ was how one councillor described the council’s decision to scrap direction signs in Horsham town centre.

According to Horsham District Council the cast iron posts were removed last week to make way for new monolith and finger post signs as part of an ‘exciting new town centre way finding scheme’, with work costing £2,300.

Street signs removed from Horsham town centre (JJP/Johnston Press). SUS-150901-124715001

Street signs removed from Horsham town centre (JJP/Johnston Press). SUS-150901-124715001

But readers were quick to argue the move was a ‘waste of money’, ‘complete madness’, ‘stupid’, and ‘ridiculous’ on the County Times’ Facebook page.

Horsham district councillor Christian Mitchell (Con, Holbrook West) said: “The removal of all the cast iron sign posts from out historic market town centre is an act of wanton architectural vandalism.

“There’s been no consultation at all with councillors that represent the town and none with the public. I now understand that the signs are to be replaced with über modern monolith boards - more suited to a 1950s new town.

“Our beautiful town centre won countless awards in the early 1990s for its design and layout. The street furniture all sits harmoniously - the gas lamps, the rubbish bins, the benches, and the sign posts - they all match and compliment each other.

“Past councillors and town architects put a great deal of work into getting the balance just right and in keeping. Now we are having imposed upon us these Terence Conran’esq style monolith sign posts that just aren’t in keeping nor necessary. The public realm deserves the very best - which we’ve currently got.

“We’ve now all seen in West Street the street furniture tat that’s been used to replace the same cast iron benches and sign posts.

“West Street looks like a post ‘60 Minute Makeover’ when no sooner have the workmen and TV cameras gone and the place falls to bits.

“In West Street the varnish is coming off the cheap boxwood covered bins and planters and some of those bin are buckled already after less than 12 months.

“So are we to have more of this MFi style tat in the Carfax, Piries Place and Chart Way?”

A spokesperson for HDC said: “The photo you have attached is a result of council enabling work for the removal of existing directional signage to make way for new monoliths and fingerposts which forms part of the exciting new town centre wayfinding scheme following on from the trial monolith in the West Street scheme.

“The total cost of this work was £2,300. There are now no plans to remove any further monoliths and fingerposts from the town centre. A launch opening of the new wayfinding scheme will take place in spring 2015 which will improve and inform visitors and the general public of how to move around the town, showcasing the town to best effect and bringing benefits to local businesses.”

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