Works to ‘start shortly’ at Piries Place

The latest artist's impression of Piries Place.
The latest artist's impression of Piries Place.

A multi-million pound redevelopment of Piries Place is set to ‘start shortly’ and developers have confirmed three new businesses set to move in.

Reef Estates is looking to regenerate the town centre site, creating a new shopping front which will host a cinema, 94-bed hotel, shops and restaurants.

The area has suffered since Waitrose moved to its new home in Guildford Road and developers are aiming to build a ‘high quality leisure led’ shopping area, expected to be completed by early 2019.

Reef Estates has appointed Gilbert Ash to carry out the construction and a spokesman confirmed the works are ‘due to start shortly’.

The old Waitrose unit will be converted into a three-screen cinema while a four storey hotel will be created at the units previously home to Beeches cafe and Pets Corner. Eight retail units will also be refurbished ready for new shops and restaurants.

Reef Estates has confirmed three business which will be moving in.

Independent boutique style cinema chain Everyman will be taking over the cinema while national giant Premier Inn will run the hotel. The White Brasserie Co is also set to open its first Sussex pub, complete with a French brasserie twist.

Will Rohleder, Reef Estates development director, said: “We are extremely excited to start the construction phase of this development. Our plans will regenerate this important town centre site and we are pleased to have operators such as The White Brasserie Co, Premier Inn and Everyman Cinema already committed.

“Importantly we will be working hard with our main contractor to ensure existing tenants continue trading as the construction progresses.

“Works are currently targeted for completion in early 2019 and we will be working hard to minimise disruption and inconvenience over this period.”

Plans were approved by Horsham District Council to redevelop the area in February.

Reef said as part of the construction the existing shop fronts will be replaced, improvements will be made to the pedestrian links and public realm and a significant part of the Waitrose unit will be demolished and rebuilt.

“Mr. Piries and his donkey will be well looked after during the construction phase of the project and will be repositioned in the square on completion,” a spokesman added.

Last month the council also approved plans for a £7.25m redevelopment of Piries Place car park to coincide with the regeneration.

The current 330-space building will be demolished and replaced with a new car park hosting between 443 and 560 spaces, depending on the final design.