Is Horsham town centre becoming ‘dog-eared’?

Broken paving slabs the Carfax Horsham. Pic Steve Robards  SR1634895 SUS-161130-153111001
Broken paving slabs the Carfax Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1634895 SUS-161130-153111001
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Parts of Horsham town centre including the Carfax are becoming ‘dog-eared’ according to one county councillor.

Brad Watson (Con, Southwater and Nuthurst) said he had become ‘seriously concerned’ about parts of the town, in particular the pedestriansed area.

Tarmac has replaced broken paving slabs in the Carfax Horsham. Pic Steve Robards  SR1634870 SUS-161130-153033001

Tarmac has replaced broken paving slabs in the Carfax Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1634870 SUS-161130-153033001

At last week’s West Sussex County Council North Horsham County Local Committee he suggested setting up a joint working group with Horsham District Council to look at how the town centre is managed.

Mr Watson, who chairs the committee, added: “I was in the Carfax this afternoon and I was horrified how much of the stone paving is being chucked away and replaced with tarmac.”

He continued: “I think it’s just being neglected.”

He explained how street furniture was being broken and safety elements were becoming cracked with lorries coming from East Street.

JPCT 161113 Unveiling of changes to Horsham's West Steet and Christmas celebrations. County councillor Brad Watson and Horsham District Councils deputy leader Helena Croft cut the ribbon. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320131117113819

JPCT 161113 Unveiling of changes to Horsham's West Steet and Christmas celebrations. County councillor Brad Watson and Horsham District Councils deputy leader Helena Croft cut the ribbon. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320131117113819

Officers explained that Worthing and Chichester had similar issues with heavy vehicles running over block paving.

But Mr Watson explained that since the 1980s the Carfax was seen as ‘special’ and this was reflected in its maintenance, but this ‘seems to have drifted away’.

Officers said that funding for maintenance had also ‘drifted away’.

Mr Watson said that paving stones were taken out and thrown away, adding: “It’s making the Carfax look dog-eared.”

David Sheldon (Ind, Horsham Tanbridge and Broadbridge Heath) had received several complaints about trips and falls in the Carfax, and thought a joint approach by both councils was ‘sensible’.

Mr Sheldon said: “A walkaround is great, but I do think we need a much longer-term plan to what is going on in the town centre.”

Amanda Jupp (Con, Billingshurst) added: “I think this is a good idea but we can’t go forward without considering the financial implications.”

However she thought surfacing had ‘changed dramatically’ over the last decade and they had to ‘think outside the box’.

Mrs Jupp continued: “Cobblestones are lovely but are they the way forward?”

The committee agreed to seek agreement from the district council to set a new group up.

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