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Shelley Fountain looks doomed.

Horsham’s landmark Shelley Fountain in the town centre is set to be removed because it is too expensive to maintain.

A meeting of the full Horsham District Council will decide its fate on Wednesday.

A report before the councillors proposes the removal of the West Street sculpture, known also as the Rising Universe, which has been in the town since 1996.

The central globe and satellite arms would be removed whilst the splash pool area would remain and be incorporated into a formalised planting scheme as part of landscape enhancements to the area. The new landscaping would provide a more attractive environment whilst further consideration is given to future options to improve the wider Bishopric public realm area as part of developing the Town Centre Vision for Horsham later this year. 

The council says the sculpture has reached the end of its serviceable life and would require continuing costly repairs as well as weekly and monthly maintenance work to retain it as originally intended. Since installation in 1996 the council has had to spend more than £200,000 on repairs and maintenance of the sculpture. It said: “In view of the current and anticipated pressures on the council’s budgets, and feedback from the public who are strongly in favour of removing the sculpture, the removal of the Rising Universe is therefore being proposed.”

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