Town centre Iceland store bid melts away

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Plans to open a supermarket in Crawley town centre have been scrapped.

Crawley Retail Ltd had made a planning application to merge two empty units and open an Iceland store in Haslett Avenue West.

But a spokesman for the frozen foods giant said: “We have no plans to open a store there despite the planning application.”

The application was submitted to Crawley Borough Council on January 19 . It proposed to merge two empty units. ‘To Let’ signs have now appeared on the site.

A spokesman for John Rowan and Partners, which made the application on Crawley Retail Ltd’s behalf, said: “Our client pulled the plug on it.”

Iceland has two other branches in Crawley – one in Three Bridges and one in Broadfield.

Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “The council intends more broadly to forge close and successful partnerships with landowners, developers and stakeholders in and around the town centre, and as part of that drive we would welcome a discussion with Iceland about the future of the site at Haslett Avenue West.

“We wish to encourage full occupancy of all units and would welcome Iceland if they wish to expand in the town centre.”

He added: “We are committed to the regeneration of Crawley town centre to attract more commercial investment, more jobs and new residential developments.

“Preparations are underway to improve and upgrade significantly the quality of the public realm at Queens Square, with the council having unlocked £3 million to make that happen. It is expected that improvements to the public realm will transform the square into a high quality, distinctive and enjoyable public space, encourage new and existing landowners and businesses to invest in the area and act as a catalyst for wider regeneration.”

Mr Smith welcomed the plans to open the store at the time the application was made.

He said the plans involved opening a ‘large new store’ and added: “This proposed new store shows the company’s belief in the strong economy in Crawley, while it will add to the range of quality and great value options for shoppers.”

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