New office space in Crawley town hall plans supported

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Extra office space for Crawley businesses as part of the development of the town hall has been supported.

A hybrid planning application has been submitted jointly by Crawley Borough Council and developers Westrock for the site in The Boulevard.

It seeks full approval for a replacement town hall and council offices, commercial office space, a new public square, and improvements to the multi-storey car park.

The remaining part of the application is in outline for 182 units on the western part of the site.

The new nine storey building, situated on the corner of The Boulevard and Exchange Road, would see the council occupy the lower four floors, with the remaining five floors let out to commercial tenants, generating income for the local authority.

Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of Gatwick Diamond Business, has written to support the application as there is a ‘very strong need for further employment space within the borough’.

He added: “At present, there is a high demand for office space, including space for small and growing businesses, especially as so much space has been taken by Permitted Development Rights projects where office accommodation has been adopted for residential use.”

The cycle forum has called for more parking for cyclists living in the new flats, while the Crawley Town Access Group has highlighted the need for accessible public toilets on the ground floor of the new town hall.

But the Twentieth Century Society has objected, highlighting the historic and architectural importance of the town hall, while criticising the designs as demonstrating a ‘paucity of thought’.

To comment visit www.crawley.gov.uk/planning using CR/2017/0997/OUT.