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 Planning: letters of representation

September 2007 

17 September 2007

Head of Development
for the attention of Val Cheeseman
Horsham District Council
Park House, North Street
Horsham RH12 1RL

Dear Ms Cheeseman


I write on behalf of The Horsham Society to object to this application. The Society notes that the proposals are a) to demolish a distinctive Victorian detached family house and b) to build a 3-story block of 12 flats on a prominent site directly facing one Conservation Area and in the vicinity of a second Conservation Area and an Area of Special Character.

The Society also notes that PPS3 (housing) requires local planning authorities to consider whether a development “creates, or enhances, a distinctive character that relates well to the surroundings and supports a sense of local pride and civic identity”. the aim being to “maintain and improve the local character”. In the opinion of the Society the proposal fails on both counts. The demolition of this property would be detrimental to the character of the area and create a precedent which would almost certainly lead over time to a reduction in the distinctive character of this part of Horsham. Rather than demolition, the existing property should be retained and revert to a suitable use.

The Society cannot agree that the design meets the high standard required by HDC policies. In particular, the semi-detached appearance of the elevation to North Parade results in a duality which is wholly unresolved. The proposers’ reference to “a vernacular look” is at odds with the prominent double doors and balconies to the front and rear elevations and choice of PVC windows. Although the elevations are said to be designed to be viewed from all four sides the side elevations do not respect the context which is characterised by a feeling of openness. The nearness of the building to the side boundaries and consequently limited fenestration, together with the large area of flat roof designed to conceal the bulk of the building, only confirm the extent of the over-development of the site.

Notwithstanding the merits of this particular application, a better approach would have been an outline application preceded by consultation with the community.

Yours sincerely

Oliver Palmer
Vice-President, The Horsham Society