Residents have given their backing to proposals for major redevelopment at the eastern end of The Boulevard in the town centre.
The proposals will see the current Town Hall replaced with a new Town Hall with grade A commercial offices, a new public square and public realm improvements. The neighbouring two-storey car park will be demolished.
The proposals also include around 275 homes in two blocks and the infrastructure for a district heating network. The Town Hall multi-storey car park will remain and will be upgraded under these proposals.
Crawley Borough Council and developer Westrock wanted to hear what residents thought before the planning application is submitted.
The principle of regenerating the area is strongly supported or supported by 81 per cent of respondents.
The same percentage of people think the regeneration scheme will have a very positive or positive impact on the town centre.
Designs, artist’s impressions and plans were available to comment on at exhibitions in the Town Hall foyer, Crawley Library and K2 Crawley and online throughout July. In addition, four manned exhibitions were held where residents could ask questions of architects and representatives from the council and Westrock.
The consultation also found that:
· 80 per cent of respondents think the design of the new Town Hall was very good, good or ok
· 86 per cent think the design of the residential blocks, including the provision of affordable housing, was very good, good or ok
· 88 per cent say the landscaping and public square looks very good, good or ok.
Councillor Andrew Skudder, Cabinet member for Resources, said: “I’m delighted that residents have given their backing to this scheme, which will regenerate a key opportunity site in the town centre while delivering a good deal for the council and taxpayers.
“The commercial offices will give the council a significant future income and the redevelopment will also provide 275 new homes, at least 40 per cent of which will be affordable and prioritised for long-standing Crawley residents.”
Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said: “This council is committed to balancing the budget, without resorting to cuts. Our redevelopment scheme will not only provide an ongoing source of revenue to pay for services, but also low-carbon energy, affordable housing and a twenty-first century Town Hall while bringing new businesses into Crawley and regenerating part of the Town Centre. It’s not hard to see why this gets a thumbs up from residents.”
The outline agreement between the council and developer Westrock was agreed by councillors in February.
The planning application is expected to be submitted in August and, if approved, demolition of part of the existing Town Hall complex – to make way for the new building – would begin in spring 2018.
Construction of the new Town Hall would begin in summer 2018, with the first phase of housing already underway, and would be expected to be completed in summer 2020.
The construction of the second phase of housing would begin in autumn 2020 and be completed in summer 2022.
For the full set of consultation results visit http://www.regeneratingcrawley.org.uk/townhallsite