Save Horsham Drill Hall

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We, the undersigned, oppose plans to demolish the Drill Hall without an adequate replacement facility in Horsham Town Centre.
Horsham District Council (HDC) proposes to decommission the Horsham Drill Hall as they consider it not fit for purpose. HDC believes it can provide alternative community facilities on the Highwood Development to the South West of town – a facility it is already committed to provide under the Land West of Horsham 2008 Master Plan.
When the old Horsham Town Hall was closed, residents were promised that the Drill Hall would remain as the community hall for the Town. It hosts concerts, beer festivals, job fairs, dances, adult education, the list goes on. It remains the only venue in Horsham able to host many of these functions, which the report supporting the proposal admits could not be accommodated at the proposed Highwood Community Centre, stating that ‘further consultation is required.’
The Highwood site is 3 miles from town by road, only accessible via the A24. The development has no public transport and is 2 miles from Horsham Railway Station on foot. Parking provision at Highwood remains an unanswered question.
Local councillors were only told of these proposals 7 days before a decision was originally due to be made, and many stakeholders were only fully briefed 72 hours before the Cabinet meeting.  The decision has been pushed back to 30th January 2020, but will still be taken by 7 Councillors, only one of whom actually represents a Horsham Town Ward.  This does not meet any reasonable standard of either community consultation or democratic accountability.

We respectfully request:

·     That Cabinet defer making a decision on the future of the Drill Hall until a proper plan can be formulated to either upgrade the Drill Hall or provide the Town with a community hall at its heart that is fit to meet the needs of its residents.

·     That the Drill Hall continues to be available to the community until it is either renovated, rebuilt or replaced in the centre of Town.

·     That a meaningful consultation with the community and its representatives on any proposals is undertaken and the final decision is taken by Full Council, not Cabinet.

Have Your Say:

The vote will take place at an HDC Cabinet Meeting, which is open to the public, at 6pm on Thursday, 30th January 2020 at Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham RH12 1RL. In advance of that meeting please e-mail your own Horsham District Councillor, whose details you can find at:

Horsham Blueprint is the designated Neighbourhood Forum for the unparished area of Horsham Town, established by the Neighbourhood Councils of Denne, Forest and Trafalgar to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for Horsham.