How can we keep Horsham town’s precious reputation flying high now and in the future?
Currently the town and its surrounding area continues to absorb high levels of development (as it has been doing for years) but our local population lacks a great deal of essential infrastructure. We are facing the prospect of development in North Horsham that will alter the nature and character that makes this town unique.
No one who really understands and loves Horsham would have believed that within the HDPF there would be an unwelcome plan ready to be foisted upon us without alternative options, a plan that eats into the Strategic Gap between Horsham and Crawley; two individual communities that have nothing to gain from becoming a built-up urban sprawl.
If the north of Horsham plan does go ahead then HUGE questions remain about how it could be adopted without lasting damage to the local environment.
Horsham town has just had an injection of prestigious shops which is good news.
John Lewis/Waitrose is a visually impressive addition that will attract plenty of positive attention. There are other major retailers offering clothes due to come to West Street/Swan Walk soon.
The key to success will be finding ways of tempting all shoppers to investigate the many pleasures of Horsham right across the town.
As well as big name retailers Horsham has a wealth of independent traders, cafés, restaurants, parks, historic architecture, works of art by famous artists, attractions galore, fine landscaping backed-up with endorsements by regional, national and international acclaim for ‘in Bloom’ successes.
Over the years volunteers, residents and businesses, have worked tirelessly to establish a remarkable and unbeatable reputation for excellence in and around Horsham town. This is something that must not be allowed to melt away.
The economic downturn reduced the amount of financial support available for some initiatives and there has tended to be less spent on maintenance and repairs.
In such circumstances cutting back and ill-considered schemes can mean that street scenes soon take on a lacklustre and unkempt appearance. In certain areas this has become noticeable and needs a wave of effort to put things right...
I was recently in the Station Beefeater having lunch with my grandchildren; looking across and seeing Horsham Station adorned with cheerful yellow and orange flowers reminded me what we can all do to give our street scenes a facelift.
It may simply be in our own gardens or businesses working together to embellish their premises or it can be through becoming a volunteer with Horsham in Bloom or associated groups who are determined to protect, cleanse or enhance the local environment.
Let’s continue to take pride in Horsham town and its surroundings and spread some magic!
Local people need to have control over the town’s destiny to be certain it doesn’t lose any more if it’s enviable qualities and charisma - it must not end up changing beyond recognition!
(LDem) Horsham district councillor for Trafalgar, Chart Way, Horsham
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