Four projects aim to boost Horley town centre

David Grantham, 30 September 2020

Horley High Street

Four projects to help revitalise Horley town centre have been given the go-ahead by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s executive committee.

The ‘Delivering change in Horley’ programme will provide new homes in the current High Street car park, and make public space improvements to the High Street.

The subway between the High Street and Station Approach will also be refurbished, and a pay-on-exit system will be installed at the Victoria Road and Central car parks.

High Street Car Park redevelopment

Horley High Street car park

Reigate & Banstead has described the High Street car park as “under-utilised”, with the development presenting an opportunity to provide a choice of home sizes, types and tenure, including more affordable rent homes for local people. 

As well as new homes for the car park, there will also be commercial space for retail, leisure or business premises.

The site is allocated in the Council’s Development Management Plan for redevelopment and the project also supports the aims of its Housing Delivery Strategy

Feasibility work for this part of the project will take place later this year and, subject to sign-off by the council’s executive, a planning application is expected to be submitted in early summer 2021.

Public space improvements

Public space improvements along the High Street, between the precinct and Horley subway, are aimed at enhancing its look and feel and how pedestrians and cyclists flow around the town.

The idea is that the enhancements will boost confidence in the town, helping to attract more visitors and investment.

Improvements are likely to include new street furniture, planting and signage, as well as measures to promote cycling and improve connectivity for pedestrians through investment in pavements and crossings. They will build on the recent improvements in the precinct.

Design of the scheme should be finished in summer 2021 and the works completed by spring 2022, delivered in partnership with Surrey County Council as the local highways authority.

Refurbishing the subway

Horley subway

A refurbishment of Horley subway is intended to improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists and create a safer, well-lit and more welcoming space. It will also improve the condition of the structure, which was built in 1905, and address drainage and flooding issues. 

A feasibility survey will be carried out later this year to establish the full extent of the works required to the subway, followed by design development. Works are expected to get underway in late 2021 and be complete by summer 2022.

Pay-on-exit car parking

Pay on exit parking will be installed at both Victoria Road and Central car parks to generate more and longer visits to the town, increasing spending locally and boosting the local economy and vibrancy of the town centre. 

The current and pay and display machines will be replaced with more convenient, modern and cost-effective parking payment systems. Installation will start in early 2021 and complete in April 2021.

Range of benefits

Cllr Eddy Humphreys

Cllr Eddy Humphreys, Reigate & Banstead’s executive member for place and economic prosperity, said: “This package of projects is great news for Horley and promises to bring a range of benefits for the town.

“They will help the Council to deliver our aspirations to invest in the town centre, drive economic prosperity, deliver more affordable homes and work with partners to create strong, safe and welcoming communities, as set out in our corporate plan ‘Reigate and Banstead 2025’. 

“It’s a challenging time for high streets across the country with people changing the way they shop.

“This investment is even more important than ever, with businesses and communities hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I hope residents and businesses will welcome the plans to boost the town.”

The council plans to seek community feedback on design proposals for the public realm improvements, subway refurbishment and emerging proposals for the High Street car park in due course. 

Reigate & Banstead’s Executive approved the projects on 17 September – click image to watch the discussion

The programme is being funded through the Council’s Capital Programme and Section 106 developer contributions from Surrey County Council, together totalling over £1.29m.

Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Local Growth Fund has also provided £229,600 following a successful bid for funds.

Horley Town Council supported Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s bid to the LEP for the projects.

Horley Town councillor David Powell

Cllr David Powell, chairman of Horley Town Council and town mayor, said: “Horley Town Council is very pleased to hear about the planned delivery of regeneration projects in Horley town centre. 

“Any investment into vital redevelopment to benefit residents and businesses is to be welcomed and so is great news to help reinvigorate the town through contemporary urban planning and to fuel economic growth to shape a brighter future for the Horley community.”

Image credits: David Powell photo – Horley Town Council. All other photos – RBBC.