Works put on hold for Horsham’s ‘West End’

Hoardings have been pulled down around the Bishops Weald development.

Hoardings have been pulled down around the Bishops Weald development.

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Work on the final phase of a £35m rejuvenation project to transform Horsham’s ‘West End’ is to be put on hold until the summer.

Developers have transformed the Bishops Weald building in the town centre as they continue to create a new gym, shops, restaurants and apartments.

The company behind the works has confirmed the retail section has been completed and it will be taking a short ‘breather’ before it finishes the scheme.

Hoardings around the site were removed earlier this month as construction came to an end on the unit formerly home to McDonald’s.

Robin Barton, of Arcus PCD which is redeveloping the site, explained the works had been ‘significantly delayed’ after builders discovered old concrete pillars in the upstairs of the building.

He said: “We should have been finished back in September-October time. It simply over ran because of the difficulties of the demolition phase.”

In total two new retail units have been created. One, opposite the new Waitrose and John Lewis building in Albion Way, has already been taken over by Dreams. The other, the old McDonald’s unit, will span two floors and has been fitted with several new glass windows over-looking the high street.

Mr Barton said: “We have had a couple of restaurants who are interested and like the big glass windows looking down West Street.

“That’s one option, we do have retailers looking at the two storey unit also.”

He added they were having a lot of interest in the gym, which will also be located on the first floor, and hoped to have new occupants for both confirmed within the next few weeks.

Meanwhile works on the apartments on the top floor have been put on hold.

Mr Barton said Arcus were looking for a housing developer to help build the 53 new units and hoped to continue work by the summer.

He said: “We thought we would give everyone a bit of a breather as it has taken a long time to get the building to where it is.

“It needs the top part put onto it to get it right but in terms of refreshing it I think it has done a good job.”

The redevelopment is the third phase of a project to rejuvenate the western end of the town.

The previous stages include the building of the John Lewis store and the creation of 17 new shared ownership units in Guildford Road.

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