‘Squeezed in’ Crawley flats turned down

Artist's impression of the proposed development
Artist's impression of the proposed development

Plans for a block of 24 flats in Pegler Way have been turned down by Crawley Borough Council.

The application, which would have seen Bar 7 and neighbouring shops demolished, was described as ‘squeezed in’ by members of the planning committee on Tuesday night.

The redevelopment site, photo from Google Maps Street View

The redevelopment site, photo from Google Maps Street View

The area has seen block after block of flats built over the past few years but councillors and officers were unhappy with this one.

Officers laid out ten reasons to reject the application, describing the design as ‘poor’ and an ‘unacceptable and cramped form of development’.

With low footfall making life difficult for the few businesses in the area, members recognised the need to develop the site.

Peter Smith (Lab, Ifield) said: “It’s not an attractive or particularly usable site at the moment.

“It’s surrounded by large residential developments, so I think it’s appropriate to have a residential development but it’s just not right in the way it’s been done.

“It’s squeezed in. I would like to ask the applicant to go away and think about it. I don’t think it’s right for the site as it’s been presented.”

Martin Stone (Con, Ifield) added: “This is, I feel, an unacceptable overdevelopment, totally not in keeping with the area, particularly the rear of the building.”

Speaking for the applicant, agent David Ross suggested the problem did not lie with the scheme itself but with ‘aspirations for a larger development’.

He told the meeting that the neighbouring Gulzar e-Habib Islamic Centre had been approached but were ‘not interested in participating at the moment’.