Having been present at the istrict council meeting I write with both anger and disappointment at the short sighted decision by HDC councillors to refuse Horsham Football Club’s application for a ground at Hop Oast.
Not only did they oppose their own expert HDC planning officer’s recommendation to approve, having spent hundreds of (taxpayer-funded) hours working with HFC to design a modest ground (with multiple restrictions in use), the reasons for refusal were feeble at best;
Planning policies broken - so I assume HDC councillors have never done this? Approving the building of hundreds of houses on green belt springs to mind.
Lack of cycling access to the ground and facilities - cycle racks at Horsham games are distinctly under-used! (this was not viewed as an issue by WSCC highways which noted it’s simply not a road well used by cyclists at any time).
A sports club not allowed to generate revenue off the field - well surely that should apply to the town’s cricket and rugby clubs - no cricket festival perhaps - thought not.
It’s a decision that shows a shocking lack of awareness of the wide support in the town for the football club having its own home and a decision that may have wider consequences for the Holbrook Club which would have been given a long term vote of confidence from HFC as its landlord.
I hope Horsham Football Club appeal this appallingly bad decision.
Dr NEIL CLARKE
Kempshott Road, Horsham