Councillor’s anger over conservation area housing

jpco-26-9-12 Old Imperial Cinema, Brighton Road (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-26-9-12 Old Imperial Cinema, Brighton Road (Pic by Jon Rigby)

A councillor has criticised Crawley Borough Council’s handling of an application to build 48 homes in a Brighton Road conservation area.

The development control committee met on Monday (November 19) to agree a planting scheme for the application - which was approved in 2009 and will see the demolition of the Peugeot car showroom which is housed in what used to be the town’s cinema.

Cllr Liam Marshall-Ascough (Con, Southgate) said: “Personally, I cannot see the point of having a conservation area when there is little or no regard for it.

“We should not only be conserving the buildings but conserving the character of the original new town.

“Instead. given the chance. the council is happy to pull down any old building just to get a few more houses crammed in.”

Cllr Claire Denman (Con, Pound Hill South & Worth) pointed out that the applicant was required to not only preserve the facade of the old Imperial cinema but to restore it to its original Victorian condition.

She added: “Just because it’s a conservation area does not mean it will never be built on but there is a much higher threshold when it comes to an application.”