Crawley Borough Council is being called on to improve Queens Square as two stores prepare to move to County Mall.
Next and Primark will be opening in the Mall over the next couple of months.
Next has confirmed it will be closing its Queens Square store and if Primark follows suit – which it is yet to confirm – it will add another two large empty units there.
There are already three empty units in Queens Square and a further two in nearby Queensway, which have been empty for some time.
Cllr Peter Smith (Lab, Ifield), shadow portfolio holder for planning and economic development, said: “We are concerned to see what is happening to the town centre.
“We are pleased for Primark and Next getting units in the Mall, but it leaves the offering in the rest of the town centre a bit uncertain.
“There’s little point in having the mall and Town Centre North proceeding while the town centre itself in decline.
“We think we need to take a step back and really look at the town centre.
“We’ve got some strong businesses like Maplin and Marks and Spencer, but we need to find the right people to fill the units around Queens Square itself.
“The first thing is the overall state of the street scene. We think it’s time to invest in some regeneration.
“The pavements are all uneven and some of the buildings need a lick of paint just to brighten them up.
“We need to find sites like an indoor market to encourage people to come into Queens Square.
“We also need to extend the night life into Queens Square.
“We have plenty of coffee shops there, but we should think about residential about the units and have a fresh look at it.
“We have some ideas about how to do it and we are looking forward to hopefully taking back control of the council in May and putting some of them into practice.”
A spokesman for Crawley Borough Council said: “We’re working to put together funding for possible improvements to Queens Square.”
He added that more detail would be announced in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, two of the businesses which draw people into Queens Square and Queensway have confirmed their plans for Crawley.
A spokesman for Marks and Spencer said: “We are committed to our current store in Crawley on that precinct and we have no plans to move the store.”
A Costa spokesman said: “As the UK’s favourite coffee shop and one of the success stories on the UK high street, we work closely with planning departments across the country to open new stores for the benefit of their local communities, creating new jobs and providing attractive and popular social meeting places.
“In line with this, we have no plans to close our Queens Square shop.”