Plans for 250 homes and a new town hall are set to move a step closer in February.
The proposed major redevelopment at the eastern end of The Boulevard in Crawley would see the current Town Hall and two-storey car park demolished, a spokesperson for Crawley Borough Council said.
In their place would be about 250 homes in three blocks, a new Town Hall over four floors with five floors of grade A commercial offices above, a public square, public realm improvements, commercial units and the infrastructure for a district heating network.
The Town Hall multi-storey car park would remain and be upgraded under these proposals.
Reports will go to Crawley Borough Council’s cabinet and full council meetings on 8 and 22 February to consider the outline of an agreement between the council and developer Westrock to redevelop the site.
A new Town Hall could provide a better, fit-for-purpose building for staff, customers and councillors and achieve significant savings on the council’s current running costs and generate additional income.
If these plans went ahead the current Town Hall would remain the council’s administrative centre until the new Town Hall was ready to move into.
Previously the council had looked into refurbishing the existing Town Hall. However, the new build option is better value because the commercial offices and the housing elements of the overall development would pay for the majority of the Town Hall, the refurbishment of the car park, the district heat network and public square. The commercial offices would also provide the council with a significant income.
Councillor Andrew Skudder, cabinet member for Resources, said: “This is an exciting time for regeneration in the town centre; these proposals provide a further boost while providing great value for money for taxpayers.
“If these proposals are approved we will benefit from the redevelopment of a major town centre site, 250 new homes including affordable housing and quality offices and getting a new Town Hall, district heat network, public square and an improved multi-storey car park for less than the refurbishment costs.
“In addition, the five floors of offices would generate significant additional income for the council that would help protect services in the future.”
If the cabinet and full council approve the proposals the development agreement would be expected to be signed by the end of May. A planning application would be submitted later this year and, if approved, demolition of part of the existing Town Hall complex – to make way for the new building – would begin in spring 2018.
Construction of the new Town Hall and the first phase of housing would begin in spring 2018 and would be expected to be completed in summer 2020.
The construction of the second phase of housing would begin in summer 2020 and be completed in spring 2022.
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