‘Vampire flats’ at former Horsham council offices refused

JPCT 17-08-12 S12330140X Horsham, Horsham District Council, office building, HDC -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120120817141105
JPCT 17-08-12 S12330140X Horsham, Horsham District Council, office building, HDC -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120120817141105

‘Vampire flats’ at Horsham District Council’s former offices were refused on Tuesday night (November 3).

Developers already have prior approval to turn the Park North and North Point buildings in North Street into 65 apartments, but their bid to infill the existing access and undercroft to create seven new residential units were turned down by HDC.

Members of the council’s Development Control North Committee raised concerns about the amount of parking available and the principle of building new homes in undercrofts, where residents would have little natural light.

David Skipp (LDem, Horsham Park), leader of the Lib Dem group, felt that proposals would put ‘more and more strain on the area’, and with only one parking space per flat it made proposals ‘difficult to swallow’.

He argued that a policy of putting flats next to plant machinery in an undercroft was not something the ‘council would wish to endorse’.

Meanwhile Christine Costin (LDem, Trafalgar) added: “I can’t approve of these dark and dingy vampire flats. I really think that’s wrong for the town and parking is a serious concern.”

Peter Burgess (Con, Holbrook West) added: “The local roads close by are already crowded and 70 spaces is simply not enough. We can’t allow this.”

Officers explained that although there are 110 parking spaces currently, the building was seen as being in a sustainable travel location so close to the town centre.

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