SmartPark Initiative Launches In Horsham

HDC LogoHorsham District Council is improving the multi-storey car parks in the town centre to make parking easier and more convenient for visitors.

A new ticketless system called Horsham SmartPark will be piloted in Swan Walk at the end of August before being rolled out to The Forum and Piries Place in the autumn. Car parks operating the ticketless system will display the distinctive bright green Smart Park logo.

Rather than using a ticket to monitor length of stay, Horsham SmartPark works by recording the number plate of a car as it enters the car park. Drivers simply park and go off on foot without needing to purchase or collect a ticket. Before collecting their car they enter their vehicle’s registration number at one of the pay stations and the appropriate fee will be displayed. This can be paid with cash or by card. Once paid, the barrier will automatically lift as the driver approaches the car park exit.

Cllr Roger Paterson, Cabinet Member for the Local Economy said: “The beauty of Horsham SmartPark is that it will make parking in the town centre much more straightforward. There’s no need to worry about finding your ticket, getting the right change and racing back to your car before the ticket expires.

“The only thing you need to do is remember your car’s number plate but there are plenty of reminders before you leave the car park. You will also be able to see an image of your car on the screen at the pay stations so if you can remember the first few letters that will suffice in most cases.

“SmartPark will make Horsham an even more attractive place to visit by giving visitors more time to relax and enjoy the tremendous range of wonderful shops, cafes, restaurants and leisure activities in the town centre.”

Horsham SmartPark will be operating in Swan Walk car park from Tuesday, August 26. The SmartPark team from Horsham District Council will be on hand in the car park and at the pay station in Swan Walk to help visitors with the new system. There will be no change to the rates.

Further information can be found at www.horshamsmartpark.co.uk or at the parking office on level 4 of Swan Walk car park.

Horsham District Planning Framework To Be Independently Examined

HDC LogoHorsham District Council’s Planning Framework (HDPF) has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for an independent examination.

The Secretary of State has appointed Mr Geoff Salter BA MRTPI, an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate, to conduct the independent public examination into the soundness of the Horsham Local Plan. The Examination will start towards the end of this year and is likely to take around three weeks.   If the document is agreed by the Planning Inspector, it is anticipated that the Horsham District Planning Framework will be adopted by the Council in April 2015.

A number of documents have been passed to the Planning Inspector. These include the Horsham District Planning Framework together with all 3073 representations in full and a summary of the main issues raised during a period of public consultation. Other accompanying documents include a sustainability appraisal, a policies map and a statement of consultation. The council isn’t able to make changes to the plan in response to the comments received, but it is recommending some minor amendments for the inspector’s consideration.

Copies of all representations made in relation to the Horsham District Planning Framework are available to view at http://horsham.limehouse.co.uk/portal/planning/hdpf_1/hdpf_prop_sub.

Further information about and details relating to the examination process will be made available online at www.horsham.gov.uk and sent to those who responded to the consultation processes of the Horsham District Planning Framework.

Hard copies of the submission documents for the Horsham District Planning Framework are also available to view at Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1RL at the following times: Monday to Thursday: 8.45am to 5.20pm; Friday: 8.45am to 4.20pm.

An independent programme officer has been appointed to represent the planning inspector. The programme officer is responsible for managing the day to day arrangements of the examination process before and during the period of the examination, recording all documents submitted, arranging for inspection of sites by the inspector and dealing with correspondence on his behalf to those who have made representations, including requests for and exchange of all statements. This will include any communication or correspondence between the inspector and the council. The Programme Officer can be contacted at bankssolutionsuk@gmail.com

Cabinet Member for Living and Working Communities, Claire Vickers said: “This is the most important planning document that the council has produced in recent years. It has obliged us to look at how we are to provide homes and jobs both now and into the future and maintain economic prosperity for our District. It will also put us in a much stronger position to control the location and extent of development and resist planning appeals by developers.

“Given the extent of such a plan it is understandable that there have been some very passionate responses to parts of it. The plan along with consultation comments now goes to a Government inspector who will go through every aspect of it and ensure we have met all the requirements of Government policy and guidance.”

Electoral Registration System Is Changing This Summer

HDC LogoOver the summer of 2014, all Horsham residents will receive a letter through the post telling them about the biggest change to the electoral registration system in nearly 100 years.

Horsham District Council’s Electoral Services Team will write to over 101,000 residents in the Horsham district explaining that a new, more secure, system of Individual Electoral Registration is being introduced to replace the old Victorian system where the “head of household” registered everyone living in a property. Now, each individual will be responsible for registering themselves.

Many residents will automatically move onto the new electoral register. However, some will need to take action to join or remain on it, which they will now also be able to do for the first time by registering quickly and easily online.

Tom Crowley, Horsham District Council Chief Executive and Electoral Registration Officer, said:

“Horsham residents will receive a letter around 26-30 July that will explain the change to the electoral registration system. Look out for the letter as it will tell you if you have been automatically transferred to the new register or not. If you have not been transferred, you will need to provide some additional information and the letter will tell you exactly what you need to do.”

Samantha Mills, Head of Campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said:

“This summer the Electoral Commission will launch a major advertising campaign that will raise awareness of the change to Individual Electoral Registration. We welcome this change, which will lead to a more secure register and replace the outdated Victorian concept that a single ‘head of household’ is responsible for registering everyone.”

For more information visit www.gov.uk/yourvotematters . If you do not receive a letter contact Horsham District Council’s Electoral Services team on 01403 212126 or email: elections@horsham.gov.uk.

Horsham District Council Joins Forces With Royal British Legion To Mark World War 1 Centenary

HDC LogoHorsham District will commemorate the Centenary of the start of World War 1 with a series of remembrance events on 3 and 4 August.  Unlike euphoria that met the actual declaration of the war amongst the public, these will be a days of reflection and remembrance.

Just as the war itself drew the community together, the 3 and 4 August will reflect that spirit through a series of events for the community to remember the sacrifice and service of all those who served in the Great War, from land army and munitions girls, to those who paid the ultimate price. The two days will pay tribute to those who served and survived, fought and died.

On Sunday 3 August at 6:30pm at St Mary’s Parish Church, The Causeway, Horsham there will be a multi-denominational Evensong remembering the outbreak of the Great War.One hundred years ago, the Church, reflecting the community’s thoughts, actively encouraged people to serve, arguing that the war was a righteous one against evil. Today, a more reflective tone is taken and the service will reflect how a current generation think of the war.

On Monday 4August, reflecting the unadorned life 100 years ago, Horsham Museum will be staging a sober exhibition and associated activities.

The Chairman of Horsham District Council, Cllr Brian O’Connell, will open the day-long exhibition held in Horsham Park Barn by the side of Horsham Park. There, he will sign a book of reflection and remembrance, the first of many visitors, as the book will allow those who want to comment space to do so, as they reflect upon or remember their ancestors’ service.

The book itself will become a permanent reminder of the centenary. After signing the book the Chairman will then light a candle and place it at Horsham Park’s poppy field. Throughout the day members of the public will be able to light candles and have time in front of the poppy field to reflect. The exhibition will close at 6pm.

In the afternoon, The Capitol, North Street, Horsham will be showing a film based on the events of the Great War.

It was during the First World War that the cinema came in to its own as film portrayed the horrors of the Western Front. The cinema also became an escape mechanism, enabling people to lose themselves in the film.

The day itself will end with a concert organised by the Royal British Legion held in the Drill Hall, Denne Road, Horsham – a building designed by and paid for by the officers for the men of the 4th Battalion.

The Royal British Legion, born out of World War One, is a unique institution, for in the rest of the world the state stepped in to look after the war wounded after their recovery, but in Britain they relied on charity and so the Royal British Legion was formed. The concert will include, amongst other works, Elgar’s Nimrod and music from World War One. Aimed at as wide an audience as possible, the tickets will only be £8 with concessions.

In 1914, the nation was going to commemorate the Centenary of the end of the Napoleonic War, when in 1814 Horsham held a Peace Dinner for 3,000 people – the outbreak of World War One put a halt to that. Thankfully under more peaceful circumstances in 2014 the town can commemorate the start of World War One and in doing so pay tribute to those who served.

Public Exhibition On Proposed Submission

HDC LogoMembers of the public can find out more about how to express their views on the recently approved Proposed Submission document at an exhibition that will be held in Swan Walk Shopping Centre in June.

Councillors as well as officers from the Council will be on hand to answer questions about the draft 20 year strategy for housing and jobs for the Horsham District, which is now in a period of representation until Friday 27 June 2014.

This period gives people the opportunity to provide an independent Planning Inspector with their views on the Plan and make any suggested changes that would help to improve it.

Representations can also be made on the legal or procedural compliance of the Plan and whether it conforms with the Duty to Co-operate.

The exhibition will be held in Unit 65 in Swan Walk Shopping Centre opposite Country Casuals on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 June from 2pm to 6pm and on Saturday 7 June from 10am to 4pm.

Representations should be sent to Horsham District Council by 4pm on Friday 27 June. All comments received, together with a summary of the main issues raised, will be given to the Secretary of State alongside the Horsham District Planning Framework and relevant supporting evidence.

The documents, representations and the summary of issues raised will be considered as part of the Public Examination by an Independent Planning Inspector which will take place this autumn.

If the document is agreed by the Planning Inspector, it is anticipated that the Horsham District Planning Framework will be adopted by the Council in April 2015.

A form has been prepared to help people submit their representations so that it is clear to the Inspector what changes are requested and why. Representations can be made by visiting the Council’s website (www.horsham.gov.uk), where they can be submitted electronically using the form provided.

Representations can also be emailed to strategic.planning@horsham.gov.uk or by post to the Strategic Planning Team at Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1RL.

To find out more about the period of representation, visit the Council’s website www.horsham.gov.uk, email strategic.planning@horsham.gov.uk or call 01403 215398.