Crawley Hindu Union hopes for cash boost from land sale

The Crawley Gurjar Hindu Union hopes the sale of land with planning permission will raise much needed money.

Crawley Borough Council development control committee has given the union permission to demolish a warehouse, once used as a place of worship and build 10 flats in its place.

jpco-19-3-14 Hindu Union celebrating after planning success (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140317-104208001

jpco-19-3-14 Hindu Union celebrating after planning success (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140317-104208001

It hopes profit from the sale of the land in Spencers Road, West Green, will help pay down the Union’s £1.9million debt and secure the future of the Apple Tree Centre in Ifield.

Bharat Lukka, governor at the union, said: “We are just absolutely pleased. It will help us with the centre at the Apple Tree Centre and keep us going for the years to come.

“Financially, it’s a big burden - a debt of £1.9million - so if we can dispose of this premises we think we could get £500,000.

“We’re very, very pleased. I think the community will benefit.

“It’s not anything which is out of character with the area. At the moment it’s an eyesore.”

The plans include five one-bedroom and five two-bedroom flats built in a single block with provision for ten parking spaces.

The council committee had to balance the need for housing with residents’ concerns about increased parking, loss of privacy and the junction with Horsham Road and the level crossing becoming more dangerous.

Clare Hiley, chairman of the Spencers Road Residents’ Association, told the committee the road was “unable to support any further increase in parking requirements.”

She added: “The residents of Spencers Road acknowledge the site is an eyesore and is no longer serving the purpose for which it was built.

“The suggested proposal is woefully inadequate, bearing in mind the two-bedroom flats could contain four adults, all who own a car.

“The overflow vehicles could end up parking in Spencers Road.”

Cllr Bill Ward (Lab, West Green) said: “Spencers Road, Albany Road and the roads around have severe parking problems and this will not improve the parking problems.”

Officers recommended the committee approve the plans.

The committee voted eight votes to six in favour.

The Apple Tree Centre, which opened four years ago, provides conference and meeting rooms, sports facilities, and kitchen and catering facilities for business and community groups to use.