As Horsham FC prepare for the latest and last chance to secure a permanent ground at Hop Oast, sports teams and schools from across the District have weighed in to support the application, with many citing the opportunities for the facilities to benefit them and the wider community.
Following public feedback which showed that 94% of the 209 respondents said there is a need for new sports facilities in the Town and District, local teams and schools have stated their support for the new ground as a benefit to Horsham’s sporting future.
Chris Ong, the Southwater FC u10s Manager said of the proposals: “We would certainly very much appreciate the opportunity to have such wonderful facilities available and accessible from Southwater.”
Richard Harris, Chairman of Horsham Tigers FC, said that “The availability of adequate facilities is a growing problem in a town that is rapidly growing” and that the Club would welcome “the use of training facilities for the use of the wider community and youth football in particular”.
Mike Tydd of Royal United FC, a youth football team based in Southwater, also stated that “We have also found it hard to find places to play our home matches due to the lack of facilities in the Horsham/Southwater area” and that all-weather facilities would be welcomed.
John Burroughs, Head of the Sports Academy at Collyers stated in a letter of support to Horsham District Council: “A 3G facility would allow us to attract and grow our football provision, enabling us to play regular fixtures, rather than having to call many off due to poor weather. It would allow us to increase the college and Horsham profile promoting excellence as well as participation in the sport.”
Zoe Froud, Assistant Director of Learning and Teacher in Charge of Football at Millais School said: “The girls at school have shown a real commitment to both their football and their school and we strongly feel that the addition of such a fantastic facility in Horsham will be of great benefit to the local community and students in our schools.”
Horsham FC Director, John Lines said: “We are touched and overwhelmed by the level of support which we have received from across the District, in particular from Southwater and Horsham. This goes to show that Horsham FC is so much more than just a local football club and that these facilities will benefit a huge amount of young people.”
The two applications for The Holbrook Club and Hop Oast were submitted in December and more information on the plans, as well as on how to comment on both, can be found at www.home4horshamfc.co.uk or by visiting www.horsham.gov.uk/planning/view-and-comment-on-planning-application and searching DC/16/2855 for The Holbrook Club enabling application and DC/16/2856 for the new ground application.