LETTER: Search for history of key town site

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As reported last week, Horsham District Council’s Development North Committee refused planning permission for a luxury development on Kingslea, just off the Kings Road in Horsham.

Members felt that this would be an ideal site for high density housing, offering affordable homes for local people. It is close to transport, shopping and leisure facilities and does not require car ownership. So, it is sustainable and environmentally satisfactory.

The site is owned by West Sussex County Council and my personal view is that it is selling it to maximise its assets; i.e. simply for a large amount of money.

The site was used for children’s services etc. and has been owned by WSCC since 1969. However, I am interested in finding out who owned the site before that and what it was used for.

Why? Well, in the 19th century, a number of sites throughout Horsham were given to the town by local landowners for charitable use. These were used for hospitals, care facilities protectedby local land owners for charitable use. These were used for hospitals, care facilities protected homes etc.

During the last 50 years or so, some were handed over to other authorities including the NHS and local councils. Later, during rationalisation, some were closed and the land sold off for development etc. The money then went into a general pot and was lost to the local people for whom it had been intended.

If this was the case for the Kingslea site, then I think the money raised should be used locally and not disappear into the financial maw of a large authority.

So if anyone knows the history of this site, could you let me know? Then, if it was locally owned, we may be able to start a process to try to recover some of the money for Horsham.

Of course it may not be possible, but it is worth trying.

Please contact me, petermburgess@hotmail.co.uk, if you have any historical information.


(Con) Horsham district councillor for Holbrook West, North Street, Horsham