I read with interest Joshua Powling’s excellent article in in the January 28 WSCT headed up ‘Vision for town centre at heart of ‘Place Plan’’.
I found it a very interesting read indeed and, after digesting it for a second and third time, it led me to thoughts of misgivings.
However, it also made me especially focus on certain comments made, like Horsham District Council has been tasked with producing a place plan for the district which will form part of West Sussex-Wide Growth Plan.
It then goes on to mention:
1) Priorities for infrastructure in our area.
2) Maximising opportunities from a review of public sector assets in Hurst Road and redevelopment of the Novartis site.
3) Pressures to offer a medium term solution to maintain the town’s vitality and ensure balance.
4) Dynamic commercially viable options to uplift areas of current or potential weakness and identify realistic development options for key sites.
5) Within the plan there would also be scope for more public realm improvements, like linking West Street to Albion Way, connecting the new Waitrose and John Lewis to the rest of the town centre.
6) Creating a world renowned Science Park alongside some housing on the Novartis site.
7) Comprehensive redevelopment plan for Hurst Road and where necessary re-provide public services in a rationalised approach.
8) Take a holistic view of the infrastructure.
All very fine words indeed!
After absorbing in everything that was so well written, it seemed to me that West Sussex County Council wants to develop Horsham with not too much consideration to what its actual inhabitants require.
Some of us I am sure are quite happy as we are and if we were asked for a priority, a hospital of substance would undoubtedly be right at the very top of any list.
The whole scenario makes one read between the lines and one can easily envisage the courts being demolished along with the Post Office sorting office, police station, fire station and ambulance station, with the probability of hundreds of more apartments being built in their place.
I sincerely believe that our beloved Horsham is already one of the largest individual towns which will bear a high proportion of houses planned over the next 15 years and WSCC is now asking too much of us and, should look closer at its own city for development opportunities.
Surely it is the people of the Horsham District that should decide what this town can cope with and not so much the influence from others outside.
There appears to be too much tail wagging the dog!
Gagglewood, Mannings Heath
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