Time for plans to alter Horsham office block to reach committee labelled ‘disgraceful’

JPCT 140414 S14161561x North Street, Horsham , McCarthy and Stone -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140414-125411001
JPCT 140414 S14161561x North Street, Horsham , McCarthy and Stone -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140414-125411001
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  • Plans to modify empty Horsham office deferred by council
  • Concerns over time plans took to reach committee
  • Proposals to demolish Norfolk House and build five-storey block of retirement apartments refused in February

Plans to build two flats under an empty Horsham office block and install dormer windows were deferred by the council last Tuesday.

But one councillor felt it was ‘disgraceful’ that it had taken 14 months for the planning application for Norfolk House in North Street to come to committee.

I’m absolutely appalled at how long this has taken. It’s disgraceful the way this has taken so long [to come to committee]

David Holmes, Lib Dem Horsham district councillor

Horsham District Council’s Development Control North Committee rejected plans to demolish the offices and build a new five-storey block of 21 retirement apartments in February.

But last week the committee was debating a separate application for external amendments to the existing building, with prior approval to convert it into 17 flats already granted.

David Holmes (LDem, Horsham Park) said: “I’m absolutely appalled at how long this has taken. It’s disgraceful the way this has taken so long [to come to committee].”

During the debate members raised concerns about overlooking of residential properties behind Norfolk House if the dormer windows were installed.

Other members felt they needed more information and clearer plans of the positioning of flats within the building’s undercroft.

Peter Burgess (Con, Holbrook West) questioned the wisdom of building flats underneath an existing building within its car park.

Dr Holmes described the decision to replace sky lights with dormer windows as ‘unacceptable’, and suggested the committee refuse the application, but members decided to defer the decision until a future meeting.

The agent described it as ‘sustainable location for this type of accommodation’.