Over 150 local residents gathered in New Street Garden on Saturday, 11th November to protest against the proposed destruction of their community garden. Horsham District Council (HDC) propose to turn New Street Garden into an access road to a new housing development and multi storey car park. These plans are to be put forward for endorsement at a Council meeting on 23rd November. Further details can be found on page 70, section 6.61 onwards: https://www.horsham.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/47780/Consultation-Draft-Horsham-Town-Centre-Vision-Statement.pdf.

New Street Garden is a beautiful community garden. After two years of hard work, the garden was lovingly restored in 2005 by the ‘Friends of New Street Garden’ (a community group) with support from Living Spaces, Novartis, HDC and Horsham in Bloom. The garden provides a valuable green space used daily by residents of New Street and adjacent streets. A quiet place to sit, read a book and relax; for children to play safely; and, where local families can hold children’s birthday parties. In addition, the garden promotes community spirit through community events. Family fun days in the summer with picnics, live music and bouncy castles for the children. Tabletop craft and plant fairs. Ghostly goings on at Halloween and an evening carol service is hosted at Christmas, by Rehoboth Baptist Church. Not to mention celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee!

Moreover, there are also concerns that an access road would increase the traffic on a very narrow street where cars already double park and drive on the pavement.

Penny Sanders states that, “New Street Garden is a beautiful and tranquil space that has matured into a very valuable, safe place for families to enjoy and children to play in safely. It would be a severe loss to the area if we no longer had this area to enjoy, as many households do not have big gardens. Plus, we need our 'green lungs' and to preserve wildlife and insects for the good of us all. As a member of ‘Friends of New Street Garden’, I am appalled that this proposal is even being considered when so much time, effort and care has gone into its creation.'

To help save New Street Garden, the ‘Friends of New Street Garden’ have set up a petition. So far, over 2300 people have pledged their support. https://www.change.org/p/horsham-district-council-save-new-street-gardens-horsham.

There will be further discussions at Forest Neighbourhood Council Meeting on Monday 20th November at 7.30pm in Salvation Hall, Booth Way