We are the civic society for the town of Horsham in the county of West Sussex, UK.
The purpose of the Horsham Society is to watch over the interests of the town, to guard its heritage, to promote good planning and design and to speak up when it believes decisions critical to Horsham are being considered. We have a strong membership, a pedigree stretching back to 1955, an influential reputation and we are one of the largest civic societies in south-east England.
We publish leaflets and books. Members also receive a newsletter, packed with interest and published eleven times a year, which contains news on topical issues of concern, articles dealing with the history and future of the town, and a busy letters page. Members are encouraged to submit their own articles and views on issues that concern them or their neighbours, and a lively exchange of opinion usually results.
Planning issues are a major concern for the Society as changes made today, for good or ill, will last for decades and perhaps much longer. On this website you can view details of the comments that we have made in regard to strategic planning, including public consultations, and reprentations made about individual planning applications, both old and new.
If you are concerned about the wellbeing of Horsham, please consider becoming a member.
Under the title "Horsham Profiles" are numerous articles written by Brian Slyfield, a former editor of our Newsletter, on topics related to the history of the town. The list has recently been updated and copies of the articles are available on request from Brian. Access the "Horsham Profiles" page here
After months of careful preparation the Society is pleased to announce the launch of an important new publication - Good by Design - which we hope will encourage better quality building design of all types from small home improvements to major developments. It is easy to criticise designs without offering viable alternatives, so we intend Good by Design to be a guide for everyone who wishes to make helpful and valid comments on development proposals or individual planning applications. Better still, we hope that designers and developers - large and small - will note and heed the advice in the document at an early stage in their planning.
Good by Design is a 40 page booklet looking at many different types of development. For example, a proposal might be a major development in the countryside, or an application in Horsham town, or a building within a conservation area. We look at different aspects, for example how the design takes account of the site layout, the materials used, or the security. In total we cover twenty five aspects or themes. For each theme we consider the important features in the final design. For example we might wish to see a layout that follows the existing topography with hedgerows and trees retained, a design which uses good quality and maintainable materials, or a site plan where security is included but is not intrusive. The booklet is generously illustrated - frequently using examples already found in Horsham - showing how our ideas can be implemented. There is also a shorter summary version intended as an aide memoire.
Our 2018 season of free Heritage Guided Walks will continue until the end of September.
The walks take place every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm, starting from outside Horsham Museum and Art Gallery in Causeway. No booking is required - just turn up on the day. Why not come a little earlier and take a look around our splendid Museum.
Take a look at current news and issues of interest to the Society here.
Every fortnight we have a column in the West Sussex County Times and you can read the latest articles here.
We regularly comment on planning applications. See our latest representations here.
Members only: the minutes of the 2018 AGM can be found here.
Horsham District Council has embarked upon its Local Plan Review and will be issuing a series of consultation papers on different aspects of the Local Plan. The Society has responded to the Council's recent consultation on employment and the visitor economy. The Society response and the background papers can be accessed from the Strategic Planning page here. We also devoted a recent column in the West Sussex County Times to the employment issue: see here.