The Billingshurst community has overwhelmingly backed plans for a new petrol station and purpose-built employment space for local businesses at Platts Roundabout, on the junction of the A272 and A29 in Billingshurst.
Platts Roundabout is less than a mile from the site of a proposed large industrial scheme being brought forward by Dunmoore. Although the Dunmoore scheme has faced some criticism, the Platts Roundabout development has been well received locally. A widescale consultation was undertaken during February, on behalf of local landowner, Arunway Limited, where around 4,000 local residents and the business community were consulted on the plans. Over 600 responses were received, with three quarters of people stating that a new petrol station is required and over 80% saying that a new petrol station should be easily accessible from both the A29 and A272, which only Platts Roundabout can offer.
8 local businesses signed a joint letter of support stating that ‘new employment space is urgently needed in Billingshurst… and we believe that the Platts Roundabout scheme would deliver this, in the right location’ and the Chamber of Commerce gave the scheme its seal of approval, saying it would be a ‘great addition to Billingshurst’ and provide ‘new modern business units for our local businesses.’
As a result of discussions with the Parish Council and local businesses, the employment space would be offered exclusively to local businesses in the first instance.
Forelle Estates, who would develop the petrol station, is readying itself to open the new Shell petrol station as soon as possible. If planning permission is granted, they hope to have the new petrol station up and running by the end of the year.
Richard Scripps, Director at Arunway Limited, stated: “As a local landowner that has been based in Billingshurst since the early 20th century, we are delighted to have received the backing of residents, businesses, the Parish Council and the Chamber of Commerce.
“We are proud of our plans at Platts Roundabout which have been carefully designed to benefit local people and we believe our scheme is the right fit for Billingshurst.”
Horsham District Council is to consider the scheme proposed by Berkshire and London based company Dunmoore at their Planning Committee on Tuesday (16 April). The scheme proposes four times more employment space than Platts Roundabout and is aimed at national companies, rather than the local community.
Although there have been a range of concerns raised by local residents, such as the substantial scale of the development, planning officers have recommended the scheme for approval. The scheme also includes a petrol station, but which would not be brought forward until phase two of their plans which could be years away.