Plan to buy former surgery

jpco 9-7-14 Dennis Williams (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140807-111128001

jpco 9-7-14 Dennis Williams (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140807-111128001

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Residents have come up with a plan to save a former doctor’s surgery from demolition by buying the building themselves.

Members of the West Green Community Forum have called a special general meeting to discuss the possibility of forming a social enterprise business to buy the old Leacroft surgery to use as a community hub.

West Green became the only neighbourhood in Crawley not to have a local surgery when Leacroft closed in September 2011.

Since then, Crawley Borough Council’s planning team has refused an application to demolish the building – 117 Ifield Road – and some of its neighbours in favour of a new development of 12 homes.

But the council opted not to meet residents’ calls to buy Leacroft for use as a community hub, opting instead to look into the possibility of having the building locally listed.

Such a listing would require developers to show they had tried to incorporate the structure into future plans.

The last building in Crawley to be locally listed was the former Embassy Cinema/Bar Med nightclub, which was eventually demolished to make way for the Morrisons development.

Dennis Williams, chair of the West Green forum, said he hoped the group could obtain funding through the formation of a social enterprise to save the building for community use.

He added: “We would like as many West Green residents to attend this meeting.”

The special general meeting will be held on Wednesday August 6 at the Baptist Church, in Crabtree Road, from 7-8pm.

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