North of Horsham: community update

Message from Andrew Blevins, Managing Director of Liberty Property Trust UK

I wanted to update the local community on our work to support proposals for the sustainable, mixed-use development at North of Horsham.

On 17 and 18 April, we held two well-attended exhibition events in the Bishopric, with around 900 people visiting us. This gave local residents an opportunity to find out more about the proposed new community with many suggesting important local facilities that they would like to see and which North of Horsham could provide.

We have made a number of updates to our master plan since the exhibition: the layout of the business park is taking shape; the Sports Hub is more centrally located; and the schools are better positioned to benefit the new community which, in turn, will be located around large areas of green open space.

Following the Planning Inspector’s Initial Findings, in which he said that the allocation “offers the opportunity to provide housing, business development and social and community facilities at a sustainable location”, we have made good progress with our outline planning application.  Furthermore, we are finalising the Planning Performance Agreement we have with Horsham District Council, which has allowed us to work confidently with the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group looking at medical facilities, the Highway and Education departments of West Sussex County Council and Saxon Weald Housing Association, to ensure the right mix of housing for local needs. All of which will ensure North of Horsham delivers the best possible benefits for the community and has the necessary infrastructure in place.

As well as working with the District Council we have had constructive meetings with local Neighbourhood and Parish Councils, The Horsham Society, Riverside Walk and Cycling Forums. We are in the process of holding further stakeholder group sessions, which will give organisations and businesses a chance to discuss the proposals with us one-on-one, to influence the emerging design.

To date we have been working on North of Horsham for five years, therefore, it probably won’t surprise the community to learn that we have already invested significantly in the project.  Indeed, we remain as committed to it now as we were at the start. Naturally, our ambition is to see through to fruition our investment and vision in North of Horsham and to deliver a scheme of a quality of which the town can be proud.

With all this in mind we are pleased to confirm that we are still in a position to submit an outline planning application to Horsham District Council this summer.