Objections lodged to 75 flats near station

Plans for 75 flats in Southgate on the site of Zurich House (photo from CBC's planning portal).
Plans for 75 flats in Southgate on the site of Zurich House (photo from CBC's planning portal).

Plans to demolish vacant Southgate offices and build 75 new flats could be approved by councillors next week.

East Street Homes is looking for permission to redevelop the Zurich House site in East Park, which is on the other side of the railway line from Crawley Railway Station.

The block of flats would range from three to six storeys in height.

Previous consent for 59 flats approved by Crawley Borough Council back in 2013 has expired.

A prior application for a t-shaped block of 69 flats ranging up to seven storeys was refused in 2011.

The new application is set to be debated by CBC’s Planning Committee on Tuesday (August 29).

A total of 46 objections have been received, compared to just one letter of support.

They have raised concerns with the level of parking provided, with just 42 spaces planned, road safety, congestion, the effect of the development on the character of the area, and a loss of privacy for neighbouring properties.

Michael Jones, who is the county councillor for the area, and the Southgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee have both objected.

But according to council officers: “The proposed building is considered to have a high quality design and could form an attractive addition to this area.

“It would make a contribution towards meeting the policy allocation for housing provision.

“Its operational needs would be met and neighbour amenities would be safeguarded.

“It would form development in a very sustainable location that would meet the general objectives of the NPPF and would not prejudice the delivery of the nearby extant planning permission at Overline House.”

The meeting is being held at the Town Hall and is due to start at 7.30pm.