'˜Shame parish council and partnership can't agree on Billingshurst youth centre plans'

EYE project artists' impression (photo submitted). SUS-151210-135404001EYE project artists' impression (photo submitted). SUS-151210-135404001
EYE project artists' impression (photo submitted). SUS-151210-135404001

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

A '˜fantastic' new youth centre in Billingshurst has been approved, despite continuing opposition from the parish council.

Billingshurst Community Partnership (BCP) gained planning permission for its Education and Youth Enterprise (EYE) Centre project off Myrtle Lane from Horsham District Council’s Development Control South Committee on Tuesday.

Applicant Patrick Perks, from the community partnership, explained that the project had been in development since 2009, and was designed to act as a drop-in centre for young people to meet and socialise.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Keith Brown, chairman of the Friends of Station Road Gardens, said: “Many people have worked relentlessly to get to the stage of a planning application and overcome setbacks along the way.”

Jessie Wilson, a Year 10 student at The Weald, added: “It’s a fantastic idea and would be really valuable resource for the young people of Billingshurst.”

The council received 97 letters of support, but 33 residents wrote to HDC to object to the scheme, while Billingshurst Parish Council (BPC) strongly objected to the proposals. Beverley Bell, parish clerk at BPC, said the project was proposed in a ‘tricky area’ of the village, felt parking would be difficult to police during drop-off and collections, and raised questions over securing access across a private road.

She explained: “It places too much pressure on an already congested locality.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Objector Lesley Wilding argued that noise from the site would affect nearby properties, suggesting young people were ‘loud and exuberant especially in groups’.

Kate Rowbottom (Con, Billingshurst and Shipley) thought it would be of ‘enormous value’, while Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater) added: “I think it’s a great facility and it’s a perfectly reasonable location.”

Chair of the committee Brian O’Connell (Con, Henfield) added: “It’s a shame this application comes forward when the community partnership and parish council can’t seem to agree.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage at www.wscountytimes.co.uk

2 Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wscountytimes

3 Follow us on Twitter @wscountytimes

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

The County Times – always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.