Vision for Horsham’s ‘West End’ unveiled in new plans

West End development
West End development

A vision for Horsham’s ‘new West End’ which include plans for 70 town centre apartments and flats have been submitted to the council.

As part of developer Westrock’s £35m scheme for the town Bishop Weald House, an office block in the Bishopric which contains McDonald’s and Argos on the ground floor, will be partly demolished and redeveloped to provide 53 new apartments.

The existing retail units will be refurbished and additional retail space would be provided fronting on to Albion Way.

In the same application submitted to Horsham District Council the Lifestyle Ford car dealership and two derelict houses would be demolished and a three-storey building making up 17 residential units built in its place.

At the heart of the West End redevelopment are plans for a new Waitrose store, as well as a similarly sized non-food retail store on the western side of Albion Way. The existing Waitrose store and staff in Piries Place would relocate, with an added 50 jobs provided on top of the 120 already employed.

Last month HDC said that negotiations were at an advanced stage with John Lewis over the non-food store, and the council was fighting hard to attract the premier retailer to the town.

Lifestyle Ford is moving to Broadbridge Heath, while Horsham Bowling Club is relocating to Holbrook Tythe Barn.

In a letter to Horsham District Council on the public planning portal Westrock said: “The proposals represent a significant investment in the town and the replacement of largely unattractive buildings with more vibrant townscape which is nevertheless in keeping with the scale and character of their surroundings.”

The design and access statement reads: “The proposals aim to enhance the viability of the town centre, providing sustainable living accommodation within the heart of Horsham and its surrounding facilities, enabling a select group of Horsham residents the Horsham ‘shopping experience’ accessible from their doorstep.”

A public exhibition event was held in Horsham town centre in June by Westrock, who are leading the redevelopment plans with British Airways pension fund.

These proposals come as HDC is set to reveal the ‘new-look’ West Street after its six-week £665,000 refurbishment project on Saturday November 16.

Speaking on the eve of the unveiling Helena Croft (Con, Roffey North), HDC’s deputy leader and cabinet member for communication, Horsham town, and special projects, said: “As well as a lot of fun on the day, the latest developments to the street will be presented in their proper context with the town’s history.”