The regeneration of Queens Square came one step closer with the announcement of a new design, which was chosen by the public.
West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council each invested £1.5million into the scheme with the aim of giving the run-down looking square a new lease of life while attracting new business to the area.
Three designs – each incorporating the levelling out of the square as well as new planters, seating, lighting and water jets – were put out to consultation in November.
Drawn up by urban designers Burns + Nice, the ‘Curves’ option proved the most popular.
Cllr Peter Smith, the borough council’s Cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “We’ve listened to what residents have told us they want to see in Queens Square.
“Water features, more green elements and improved lighting, layout and seating – we’re incorporating all of these in this final design concept.
“We’ve listened to what residents have told us they want to see in Queens Square. Water features, more green elements and improved lighting, layout and seating – we’re incorporating all of these in this final design concept.”Cllr Peter Smith
“It’s very exciting and, if approved, will be a big step to improving our town centre.
“In addition, we’re increasing and improving the events we put on in Queens Square as part of our town centre regeneration programme to encourage visitors to stay longer.”
The chosen design will be put to the Cabinet for final approval on Wednesday (March 18) before being developed in more detail for and submitted as a planning application in July.
The new-look Queens Square is expected to be completed by mid-2016.
As part of the project, the bandstand will be refurbished, redecorated and relocated to the Memorial Gardens.
The Martlets Tree – the eye-catching pole of metallic birds which was installed in 1999 – will also be moved, though no location has been chosen yet.
Conservative leader Cllr Duncan Crow said: “The scheme is set to redefine the square as the heart of the town centre, creating a high quality, inviting, distinctive and enjoyable public space which will encourage more people to make good use of the area.
“We are keen to halt and reverse the decline of Queens Square and it is hoped to encourage new and existing building owners and businesses to invest in the area and encourage wider regeneration.”