Horsham FC to agree deal before Christmas?

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Horsham FC fans could be in line for an early Christmas present as plans to secure a new home look set to move tantalisingly closer.

The Hornets have long been in negotiations to buy a plot of land near Hop Oast, to the south of the town, and with talks concerning the sale and future use of land they already own at the Holbrook Club reaching a conclusion, it’s believed a deal could be in place by Christmas.

Chairman Kevin Borrett revealed: “We are quietly confident we will sign to buy Hop Oast before Christmas. The club believes it will reach agreement on key points among all parties.

“The next stage will be to conduct a wide-ranging consultation in the New Year.”

Horsham have been homeless since 2008, when their Queen Street ground was handed over to housing developers, and a potential move to Hop Oast would bring an end to more than two decades of searching for a new ground, which has included failed attempts to the west of town and also at the Holbrook Club itself.

After a season of ground sharing at Worthing, Horsham have been tenants at Horsham YMCA’s Gorings Mead ground, and confirmed in February that they were in talks to move to Hop Oast, as part of the redevelopment of the Horsham Golf & Fitness site in Worthing Road.

Horsham’s ‘option’ agreement to buy the land is on the condition they are granted planning permission. This ensures there will be no repeat of what happened at the Holbrook Club, which they purchased in 2006, only to be refused planning permission two years later in the wake of high profile protests from neighbouring residents.