Pynsent Street traders call for dialogue before Horsham Town Hall redevelopment

A NUMBER of Pynsent Street traders are concerned about a lack of time to meet Horsham Rural City Council before the Horsham Town Hall redevelopment begins.

Council community services director Angela Murphy emailed contractor Kane Constructions’ draft construction management plan to more than 12 traders on December 17.

Each of the recipients signed a letter dated December 13, requesting information on how works would affect the street, and therefore their businesses.

They believed the information would help answer their queries and allay concerns about the 18-month construction period.

Pynsent Street Traders representative Angela Ballinger said traders also hoped to discuss plans with council before construction started.

Kane Constructions will set up its site office, lunch sheds and amenities on January 14.

The site will be fenced off from January 20.

Council technical services director John Martin said a meeting was likely to be scheduled either next week or the following week.

“This week is not the right time of year to be doing it,” he said.

But a meeting next week will be too late for several business leaders, who will be on holidays.

“We’re going to get back to our business with the construction starting,” Mrs Ballinger said.

She hoped council and Kane Constructions would be equally receptive to feedback once construction had started.

“They will be having fortnightly meetings with traders,” she said.

“I guess now it’s just a matter of keeping everybody informed and prepared, and knowing what’s coming up in the next fortnight.”

In addition to providing documentation, Ms Murphy also sent traders responses to 14 concerns.

Mrs Ballinger welcomed the responses, dated December 24.

She was particularly pleased to read council shared the traders’ desire for the street to look unhindered, unbarricaded, clean and open for business.

But she said many of the group’s suggestions had been answered either with ‘agreed’, ‘not agreed’ or ‘under consideration’.

“It didn’t achieve the outcome we were hoping for, which would have been to sit down and see what we could come up with,” she said.

Coller Rathgeber director Tim Coller said he was disappointed the time frame between the documents being released and works beginning was so tight.

“It has prevented traders having any meaningful input,” he said.

“Traders look forward to further consultation – we just want it to be meaningful and transparent.”

He said the draft construction management plan had been vague and generic, and looked forward to more detailed information.

Mr Martin said traders did not need to wait for a meeting to discuss the plans with council.

“My email address and phone number have been made available for them to make any comments, whenever they wish,” he said.

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