LETTER: HAODS is a gem at heart of our town

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I am amazed and deeply saddened that council plans for the Broadbridge Heath Quadrant Masterplan do not included HAODS in the new Leisure Centre and no realistic offers of alternative premises have been made.

The BBH Joint User Group (JUG), are supporting HAODS and believe that the council is obliged to replace recreational premises with like for like or better.

As a teacher of 30 years’ experience, and a psychologist studying human behaviour, interaction and what makes for a content and productive society, it is glaringly obvious that HAODS is a real asset to our town. It provides a rare meeting point for all generations to mix together which is something very unusual outside organised religions. It allows people to be creative, relax and be stimulated, while having fun and being productive.

If people (teenagers in particular) do not have these types of opportunities, then other problems like vandalism, violence, loneliness and depression creep in. It is exactly this sort of opportunity which creates a society. Without it, we are simply unconnected people.

Do we want the ‘parallel lives’ where people don’t connect, or do we want a support network, a web of interconnectedness, where people are linked together in all sorts of ways, through positive activities of their choosing, such as sport, music, art, dance, technical sound, song and so on and so on.

Horsham is a wonderful place to live, and HAODS really is a gem at the heart of it. Please let’s fulfil our obligations and provide the type of society that we want for our own family members to live in.

Amateur Dramatics is clearly a recreational activity and so adequate re-provision is required under planning law when the existing leisure centre is redeveloped.

The current facilities offered at the Drill Hall are inadequate. This Quadrant Masterplan needs to commit to a re-provision acceptable to HAODS to allow it to continue to make its valuable contribution to the community and before any re-development is allowed.

Morag Warrack

Hamilton Road, Horsham