The Building

The key aim and purpose for EYE will be to provide a hub where young people and those connected with young people, can gain important valuable and quality outreach support and advice in the areas that are of concern to them as well as being a general social and recreational facility.

We envisage that EYE could be used to support and advise our community in the following ways:


  • Alternative Learning
  • Mentoring programmes for young people with behavioural or emotional problems that link in with the school, other community service providers and parents
  • Vocational themed approach to education that have a strong practical orientation for non-academic young people
  • ‘Twilight’ after school learning programmes for young people with attendance problems
  • Relationships

  • Housing
  • Young Parents
  • Support for Gay, Lesbian and Bi-sexual
  • Sexual health. (The nearest sexual health clinics to Billingshurst are Worthing and Crawley)
  • Drug and Alcohol advice. (There is a growing concern locally that young people are worried about the drug and alcohol habits of relatives as well as their peers)

  • Health

  • Mental Health (Young Minds)
  • Healthy eating and cookery courses that give important life skills to young people
  • Eating disorders
    (a growing concern especially males)

  • Careers

  • Careers advice and job searching (Job Centre Plus could have an outreach post)
  • Financial management and debt control
  • Romance Academy (relationship advice)
  • Citizens Advice Centre
  • Credit Union

  • Recreational/social uses

  • Informal place to meet with friends
  • Formally organised youth groups
  • X Box club
  • Discos, gigs and themed events
  • Organisation-specific group meetings and clubs
  • After school clubs for 8 –14 year olds

  • Facility

    The demand for the EYE facility has been identified in the Community Led Plan 2015 -2020 (CLP). A key action point in the said Plan (Topic 4 - Youth) concluded that the EYE building will have a direct and immediate positive impact on our community.

    The demand for the facility

    The demand for the EYE facility has been identified in the Community Led Plan 2015 -2020 (CLP). A key action point in the said Plan (Topic 4 - Youth) concluded that the EYE building will have a direct and immediate positive impact on our community.

    The CLP also states:

    1. ‘Our vision for Billingshurst is that of a thriving community with our residents, young and old, proud of our village and rightly celebrating our surroundings, our achievements and our future’
    2. ‘We need an overall youth plan and better facilities for our young people. We also need to provide better career guidance and work with local businesses to ensure this happens’
    3. ‘Better communication between existing groups and organisations’ (working with young people)
    4. ‘Encourage active participation in volunteering (to improve employment prospects)’
    5. ‘Provision of a dedicated youth facility’
    6. ‘To provide extra support to young people and other community needs’
    7. ‘Targeted social and recreational activity’
    8. ‘Improve employment prospects for young people’
    9. ‘Closer links with key workers in areas dealing with young people’

    A lack of dedicated facilities for young people (12 – 25 yrs.old) has been identified by Horsham District Council in their Sustainable Community Strategy.

    The Weald School and Sussex Police support the provision of the EYE facility (Please refer to Demand Review 2015 for further information) Young people recently surveyed indicated that they wanted a facility that provided them with both structured and unstructured activities as well as somewhere to go for advice and support regarding any ‘lifestyle choice’ concerns they might have

    Site Access for Pedestrians and Vehicles

    The following access requirements have been incorporated:

          • Pedestrian safe routes with visibility from neighbouring properties.
          • Vehicular access for disabled building users.
          • Emergency vehicle access.

    Access to the site is predominantly by foot although nearby vehicular access can be gained via the proposed station car park at the end of Myrtle Lane. We are also proposing to upgrade the pedestrian routes to improve access to the building. We will also utilise the existing Myrtle lane road for deliveries and collection of site waste, as well as for emergency vehicle access. Due to site restrictions it is impractical to include a road onto the proposed site. Nonetheless our current strategy proposals present the most realistic solution and provide for all required contingencies.

    Waste Collection

    We are proposing to use 240lt wheelie waste and recycling bins. The bins will be stored within the secure plant and bin store. On bin collection days, the bins will be wheeled along the new hard landscaping area and left at the base of Myrtle Lane for collection.

    The route is approx. 60 metres to the proposed collection point and is flat along the whole length. The landscaping will be detailed to assist in pulling the wheelie bins.

    Inclusive Design

    It is envisaged that the majority of visitors to the youth centre will be on foot or via bicycle. As we have been unable to get a dedicated disabled car parking bay on the building we are ensuring that the landscaping strategy will be friendly to both wheelchair users and buggies. Building access will be level with minimal level changes.

    Bike and Buggy Parking

    We are proposing a covered shelter for ten bicycle spaces. This area can also double up as a covered secure area for buggy parking. The bike and buggy shelter will help promote cycling to the site.

    Emergency Access

    We have discussed our access for firefighting with David Boarer (West Sussex Water and Access Manager) and with Thakeham Homes (who are developing the adjacent site). We are proposing to utilise the new turning circle created by Thakeham Homes based on the agreement with David Boarer that this would be acceptable as the access point to the EYE facility for emergency vehicles.

    More information

    The parcel of land has many opportunities and constraints which were reviewed under a feasibility study prepared by Fingerprintstudios in 2014. The design, location and massing of the building are a direct response to the opportunities and constraints which has informed the design of the building.

    Building Placement

    Although the site is generous for a modest youth centre, its position on the site has been dictated by an existing medium pressure gas main and a number of existing trees and dense hedgerow on the southern portion of the land. This leaves an obvious location on the North West corner of the site.

    It also falls in the location of neighbouring buildings. This creates a massing between the new housing proposal on Myrtle Lane and the existing Bowling Club pavilion.

    MUGA Boundary Condition

    The existing MUGA will create a boundary condition with the proposed building location. As such the internal layout of the building has been designed to prevent any issues with being this close to an existing boundary.

    Existing trees and Hedgerow

    By locating the building on the north east corner we are able to maintain the existing trees and habitat features which are a key focal point on the site. The new building can take advantage of the existing landscape features and, with an improvement in the landscaping around the proposed building, it is envisaged that we can improve the character of the site as a whole.

    New Entrance

    As there is an existing footpath from Myrtle Lane the main entrance of the building would benefit from being opposite this existing footpath.

    The entrance would then form part of the pedestrian ‘desire line’ for users making the approach to the building simple and straight forward.

    The site of this planning application is owned by West Sussex County Council. Respective notices have been served in pursuit of this application. West Sussex County Council are fully aware of the application proposals.


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