Council living in ‘cuckoo land’ over search for Horsham FC home

Horsham Football Club's 2014 proposal for a new clubhouse and ground at Hop Oast - artists's impression of the view from the balcony - picture submitted by Horsham Football Club SUS-150121-131807001

Horsham Football Club's 2014 proposal for a new clubhouse and ground at Hop Oast - artists's impression of the view from the balcony - picture submitted by Horsham Football Club SUS-150121-131807001

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The council ‘seems to have lost the plot and decided to live in dream cuckoo land’ over the search for a new home for Horsham FC.

The football club’s plans for a new ground at Hop Oast were rejected by Horsham district councillors last month much to the disgust of fans .

Horsham FC has suggested it might appeal the decision, but Claire Vickers, HDC’s cabinet member for living and working communities, told the County Times last week they were actively talking to developers behind the proposed North of Horsham development.

Chris Lyons, HDC’s director for planning, economic development and property, has also personally offered to work with the football club to find a ‘suitable site’.

Chairman of the Horsham Society David Moore said: “I couldn’t believe what I read in the article concerning Horsham Town FC on page 22 in last week’s County Times.

“It sometimes seems as if our local council has lost the plot and decided to live in dream cuckoo land.”

Given the ‘furore’ over the North Horsham plans he described last week’s announcement by Mrs Vickers as ‘appearing to be inflammatory’.

Mr Moore added: “It was also fascinating to read yet again the reasons for the rejection of a football ground at Hop Oast.

“If these are valid reasons for refusing this planning application, all the same reasons would say that there should be no development of any type on the proposed North Horsham site.

“All I can assume is that North Horsham is now seen as a convenient dumping ground for anything that’s not wanted elsewhere in Horsham district. Can we please return to the days of sensible planning, where we tried to leave it to the professionals and we actually listened to the electorate’s views, whilst at the same time thinking about what’s right for Horsham town?”

Plans for 2,500 new homes and a business park north of the A264 are included in the council’s planning framework, which is currently being revised to up the housing target by at least 2,000 homes following public scrutiny by the planning inspector in November.