Growth and prosperity

ONE READS reads with some amusement of the campaigns of RAGE and Southwater Parish Council against the housing developments around Horsham (County Times April 5).

How lucky we are that such groups did not achieve similar objectives throughout the history of Horsham and particularly since the late 1950s. Otherwise Horsham might still be a crossroads near a river with a few houses and, if we were lucky, a village shop.

Development since the 1950s has brought Horsham prosperity and elevated it to one of the best places to live in the country. Without the thousands of houses, offices and industrial units that have been built it is very unlikely that Horsham would be the attractive place it is today.

We would not have the pedestrianised streets, the beautifully redeveloped Carfax, Swan Walk, the Forum, the museum, the Shelley Fountain, Southwater centre and country park, Piazza Italia, the Pavilions, and so on. The list is not endless, but very extensive.

And what came first - the houses or the amenities? Without the houses and the people who wanted to come and live in Horsham, the town would still be a drab old market town with cars queuing to drive along its main shopping streets.

If the new developments on the north side of Horsham, in Southwater and Broadbridge Heath take place, then we might get new health facilities or even a hospital, new leisure facilities, fewer empty shops in the town centre, a new railway station with plenty of parking, and even the return to public use of the Old Town Hall.

I’m all in favour of free speech, but please let common sense and the lessons of history guide the future of our lovely town, and give it the chance to become the number one place to live by bringing to Horsham the people and money it needs to prosper through the 21st century.


Worthing Road, Horsham