30 years ago - from the West Sussex County Times of Friday March 25, 1983.

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Becoming only the second local authority in the country to use video for planning meetings, Horsham District Council decided to spend £6,500 on the equipment.

Sonoptics, of Billingshurst, will provide equipment to be used mainly for displaying plans and howing films of sites which are the subject of applications.

The proposal to have the equipment installed in the council’s committee room-to-be in Comewell House, North Street, came before the finance and general purposes committee.

The committee was asked for a quick decision so that cables could be installed while other improvements to the committee room were being made.

In a report by the council’s director of administration, committee members were told that the present system of using an overhead projector to display plans did not enlarge them enough for councillors sitting as far as 30 feet away to be able to see clearly and that the projector itself could be

‘noisy and intrusive’.

The video system, which will cost £500 a year to maintain, could be used, members were told, to ‘home in’ on sections of plans to display details clearly.

A date has been fixed for a public meeting to launch a campaign to push forward the proposed Billingshurst bypass.

The meeting has been organised by Kenneth Longhurst with the support of the Billingshurst Society and the parish council, which has allowed free use of the village hall.

Mr Longhurst is hoping enough people will come forward to form a bypass committee to persuade the Government and county councillors to bring the scheme forward.

At the moment only half the bypass is in a roll-on programme for 1993-94. This is the northern half, which would run from the A29 just north of Billingshurst to Frenches Mead.

The whole bypass would run to the bottom of Andrew’s Hill, taking all coast-bound traffic away from the village.

The villagers have been trying for many years to persuade the authorities of the need for the bypass.

In 1967 a petition containing about 3,500 signatures was presented to the Department of the Environment but the only response was an acknowledgement.

Animal rights campaigners smashed valuable equipment and daubed walls with red paint after breaking into Small Dole’s controversial Shamrock Farm.

The body of a dog was hauled from a cold store and its entrails strewn across the farm’s post mortem laboratory in what Shamrock’s veterinary director has described as an act of terrorism.

The raid took place in the early hours of Thursday morning,

when a group of protesters cut through a barbed-wire boundary fence and forced their way into two of the farm’s buildings. The door to the surgery unit was torn from its hinges as the raiders forced their way in.