New food and retail units given go ahead

An artist's impression of Surrey County Council's plans for new food and retail units in Manor Royal
An artist's impression of Surrey County Council's plans for new food and retail units in Manor Royal
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Plans for new retail and food units within Manor Royal have been given the green light by Crawley Borough Council.

Councillors welcomed Surrey County Council’s proposal to redevelop the former Thales site on Gatwick Road, Northgate at a development control committee meeting on Monday (February 2).

The development will include two food units, likely to be a cafe and restaurant, as well as a shop and two office buildings.

Cllr Ian Irvine (Lab, Broadfield North) said: “This is a derelict site, so I would like to support it.”

He added that he hoped plans to remove 17 trees as part of the application could be reconsidered.

Cllr Peter Smith (Lab, Ifield) said: “I too welcome this application. I am particularly pleased to see Surrey County Council expressing a vote of confidence in Crawley and Manor Royal.”

Car parking issues and the lack of a proposed cycle lane on Gatwick Road were problems with the proposal, Cllr Smith added.

He said: “We have to look at the problems of congestion and lack of car parking. It is not good enough to keep talking about lack of car parking without doing something about it.

“This is a tremendous, prestigious application but I think it would be wrong to let it go without a better answer on (item) 5.31 (no cycleway on Gatwick Road).

“If we miss this opportunity to improve that area, if we don’t take this opportunity now, it will be lost forever.”

Cllr Brenda Burgess (Con, Three Bridges) agreed that ‘cycling issues should be looked at’.

The application was permitted, with conditions that the applicant reconsiders cycling provision and retaining identified trees.