A medical centre, an ice rink, hotel, restaurants, new leisure facility, and 200 apartments could be included in ‘game-changing plans’ for the Broadbridge Heath Quadrant.
This week Horsham District Council revealed its initial proposals to create a ‘destination venue’ exclusively to the County Times as both they and West Sussex County Council look to transform their parcels of land adjacent to the Tesco store.
As HDC plans to decommission Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, it has engaged developer Westrock in an advisory role as it puts together a master plan for the area.
Instead of building a replacement leisure facility south of the existing site on land from the 963-home Countryside Property development as originally envisaged, a new centre could be provided in the same building as complimentary retailers.
While Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead), cabinet member for arts, heritage and leisure, said there were still quite a few hurdles to clear, proposals represented a ‘great prize’ if they could pull it off.
He added: “What’s special about this is Westrock bringing their innovation to the whole project and incorporating the sports centre into the whole development.
“This is very much a game-changer in our plans and it gives us a great deal more flexibility.”
The idea is to create a ‘destination venue’ with bulky goods retailers anchoring the south of the quadrant to existing retailers such as Homebase and Carpetright near the A264, but also complimentary retailers surrounding the new leisure facility.
These could include sports or leisure stores, with additional space available for either indoor bowls or facilities such as an ice rink, and a health and medical facility.
Plans would have the benefits of cutting down construction costs, and not building on the recreation land provided by the developer.
Under proposals up to 200 apartments would be built on the site of the running track, which is being relocated to Tanbridge House School.
The council also hopes to attract a hotel and restaurants, but both Mr Chowen and Ray Dawe (Con, Chantry), leader of HDC, emphasised that any plans for the quadrant must not compete with Horsham town centre.
Mr Chowen added: “This is an opportunity to move away from the isolated out of town box-type retail parks.”
Significant capital receipts would be generated from the sale of both HDC’s land and WSCC’s highways depot. HDC is looking to hear from residents as it works on a draft master plan, which it hopes will be approved by cabinet in April for a period of public consultation.