Letter: ‘Friends’ to help protect Horsham Park

Horsham Park
Horsham Park

Having discovered that part of Horsham Park is under threat, this week we have launched the New Friends of Horsham Park.

The group aims to:

1. Get the park included on Horsham District Council’s Local List of Heritage Assets (as Crawley Borough Council have done)

2. Be a public forum to provide input into the Park Management Plan which will replace the current one next year

3. Work positively with neighbourhood councils, Horsham District Council, the Park Management team and interested parties to enhance the park and protect it for future generations to enjoy.

There is strong feeling in Horsham about the park. It is highly valued, an irreplaceable resource and what makes Horsham such an attractive place to live.

Two planning applications relating to the park have resulted in hundreds of objections and 98 per cent of people answering the Horsham Blueprint Neighbourhood survey supported the preservation of existing open spaces and parks. However, residents’ voices are being ignored and currently there is inadequate consultation about what happens to our park. The New Friends of Horsham Park aims to make it easier for the council to tap into everyone’s views.

The group is not against all change in the park. We acknowledge that in the last 20 years there have been plenty of good initiatives which cater for a wide range of interests such as the Pavilions, the Nature Garden, the children’s play area and the skate park. However, these have all taken precious green space.

The green space which remains is now at a premium for picnics, kicking footballs, walking and jogging, especially as Horsham grows and gardens get smaller. The group wants to ensure that this remaining green and open space is enhanced and accessible to all – for today and for tomorrow.

We will be conducting an online survey in September. To find out more or get involved please contact the New Friends of Horsham Park via newfriendsofhorshampark@gmail.com

Sally Sanderson

Chairman of New Friends of Horsham Park, Parkside Mews, Horsham