Safety fears over new use of Horsham Scout hut by pre-school nursery

JPCT 051213 S13490265x  Bishopric, Horsham. Scout hut access -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 051213 S13490265x Bishopric, Horsham. Scout hut access -photo by Steve Cobb

Safety fears were expressed over the possible use of a Horsham Scout hut by a pre-school nursery group at a council meeting.

During a Horsham District Council planning meeting last week officers argued that current use of the building meant that in theory it could be used as a casino, skating rink or cinema.

However, some councillors thought the application for a change of use for the hut, off the Bishopric, was unsafe considering the only access point was a narrow footpath.

Objections from neighbours centred around the increased noise generated from children playing in the garden during the day in a dense residential area.

The Development Control North Committee agreed a two-year temporary permission with conditions, after an earlier motion to reject the application was defeated.

Leonard Crosbie (LDem, Trafalgar ) was ‘very uncomfortable’ with the application, and raised the case of the Swindon Road Scout building where he said issues raised by neighbours had never been resolved satisfactorily.

He added: “Nobody objects to Scout activity.

“Even though they make noise and have their events in the gardens the neighbours never object because it’s the Scouts.”

Christine Costin (LDem, Trafalgar) added: “I have got nothing against Scouts. I have got nothing against play groups but we do not have enough information to know how much disturbance it’s going to cause.”

Ian Howard (Con, Southwater) added: “If we were to throw it out I would encourage the applicant to appeal.”

Peter Burgess (Con, Holbrook West) questioned the ease with which emergency services could access the site if anything happened at the hut. Others raised problems with parking.

Jim Rae (Con, Holbrook East) explained: “If mothers or fathers are taking their child to nursery it’s not on foot, it’s by car.”