Horsham Football Club’s plans for a new ground have received crucial backing from planning officers.
It will now be up to Horsham District councillors to decide on Tuesday two closely linked applications that have both been recommended for approval by the district council planning department.
The first application being presented to the north planning committee is at Horsham Golf and Fitness, Worthing Road, Southwater and the Holbrook Club, North Heath Lane, Horsham. It is for a 3G Football Ground, including main pitch and training pitch, clubhouse, stands, access, parking and landscaping to serve as the home ground for Horsham Football Club.
The second application that is recommended for approval is at the Holbrook Club, North Heath Lane, Horsham, for residential development of playing fields providing for 58 homes to be built including a new access from Jackdaw Lane.
Councillors have been told in a detailed 34-page report: “Whilst each application must be determined separately members need to take into account their interrelationship which can be summarised as follows.
“As a package the applications offer the ability to secure community benefits including long term security for the Holbrook Club, the provision of a permanent new home for Horsham Football Club and new 3G pitches which would be available for community use.
“The Holbrook Club is reliant on the provision of the 3G pitches at Horsham Golf and Fitness to compensate for the loss of playing fields proposed under (planning application)DC/16/2855. The delivery of the new ground for Horsham Football Club facility is reliant on the funds generated by the housing development at the Holbrook Site.”
More than 200 objections have been lodged, including fears over dangerous access and traffic congestion from a park and ride scheme, and the Stammerham Amenity Association lodged nine objections, suggesting Horsham Football Club should be located back at the Holbrook Club.
Any planning approval would be subject to conditions, including pedestrian safety and the need to provide community use of the new ground. The club currently shares a ground with Horsham YMCA and has said the success of the applications is vital for its future.