Plans to redevelop Sussex House site are submitted

PLANS to redevelop the Sussex House site on the High Street have been submitted to Crawley Borough Council following results of a public consultation in July.

The bid is the first phase of the Town Centre North regeneration project which aims to build a Morrisons supermarket and Travelodge hotel, creating more than 400 jobs.

Commercial property company Land Securities and partner St James’s Investments held a public consultation in the County Mall which was attended by almost 650 people.

Land Securities development director Chris Ward said: “We received a lot of great feedback and some really constructive comments which have allowed us to improve the design of the buildings for this important site in the town.”

All of the 66 people who filled out comment forms agreed the town centre needed to be improved.

Some 86 per cent of respondents supported the plans which include a supermarket, a 110-bed hotel, new restaurants and a 506 space town centre car park.

The design of the proposed building was supported by 83 per cent of respondents.

The topics raised most frequently throughout the consultation were the need for investment in Crawley, traffic and transport, design, the need for another supermarket, the landscape design and Bar Med.

Under the proposals the historic Bar Med building would be demolished.

Mr Ward said: “We expect the re-development of the Sussex House site to encourage more investment into the town and to kick start the Town Centre North regeneration programme. We are now looking forward to the planning committee later this year, where a decision will be made on the plans.

“If the application is successful, we hope to start construction works in Spring 2012.”

The scheme has also been boosted further by the news that Travelodge have signed up to run the new hotel at the site, providing a new family and business hotel in the centre of town.

Cllr Claire Denman, Crawley Borough Council cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “On a personal point of view it’s really positive that a developer is prepared to invest in Crawley.

“At the moment it’s a very depressing economic climate so it’s a positive step.

“But the development control committee will have to weigh up everything put before them – I’m interested to look at the results from the developers consultation.”

The majority of the 1.7 hectare site has remained vacant following the demolition of the Sussex House building in 2009.

Crawley Borough Council has yet to decide on a date when it will discuss the bid.