Whenever I travel down into Horsham from Rusper, where I live, I pass a great many empty offices in blocks which I clearly remember being built. They create a bleakness in the landscape which detracts from our ‘Market Town’ image.
I imagine they are rarely, if ever, seen by almost all of the 25 councillors who voted in favour of the North Horsham development, given where most of them are likely to be living.
Furthermore, it is certainly not evident that these premises, and other commercial spaces in the town, will be re-occupied in the near future.
We are encouraged to rejoice that a new out-of-town massive business park will attract high quality businesses and offer hundreds of new jobs. And we can also look forward to a much enlarged Waitrose supermarket, a John Lewis store and more retail units at Broadbridge Heath.
Meanwhile, there appears to be very little sympathy from HDC towards, for example, future accommodation for HAODS or the bowls club, and the sport and leisure centre would have been lost if public pressure had not caused a rethink.
It is facilities like these which help to build communities and bring quality into people’s lives.
But if this proposed development takes place, we can forget our ‘Historic Market Town’ description and expect to become as unattractive as many other towns have now become.
And don’t go out for a drive – the roads round Horsham will be gridlocked!
Millfield Rise, Rusper