Conversion plans for empty Crawley high street bar

Conversion plans for an empty Crawley high street bar have been submitted.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 4:53 pm

PFC Property Limited has submitted a prior approval application to convert offices at Gainsborough House on the corner of the High Street and Peglar Way into 27 flats.

This was refused by Crawley Borough Council on the grounds that future occupiers would be harmed by noise from adjoining commercial premises and those in the vicinity.

Since the applicant also owns the ground floor bar, it has submitted separate plans to convert it into a commercial retail or business/services use.

The empty bar in High Street (Photo from Google Maps Street View)

Its covering letter says: “The site has not been used for its lawful use for some time and following the surrender of the lease by the former tenant, the site is vacant.”

The owner is ‘seeking to ensure that the future use of the application site protects the residential amenity of potential future occupants of Gainsborough House, should prior approval be granted’.

The letter added: “The bar has not been meeting its commercial potential for some time, and these struggles pre-date the Coronavirus pandemic which has significantly affected the leisure industry and evening economy and has clearly exacerbated the problems facing the bar prior to the outbreak.

“The former tenant of the bar has vacated the premises and surrendered its lease, and there is no realistic prospect of a new drinking establishment coming forward and occupying the Site, particularly in the current market conditions and with severe restrictions in place (i.e. lockdown measures including social distancing and curfews).

“The proposed flexible commercial use is considered to be entirely appropriate at the Site, given the location within a primary shopping area in the town centre.”

To comment visit www.crawley.gov.uk/planning using code CR/2020/0681/FUL.