Our Town Centre Regeneration Programme is starting to gather pace with the announcement that Overline House and the Crawley Station will be redeveloped, as well as the public spaces around the station. This major private sector investment has not come about by accident, but is, at least in part, a result of working with the owners of the site for over two years as we developed our plans for the Town Centre. This was building upon increasing confidence in the Labour run Council as the ‘message’ started to reach the business and investor community, as well as the community at large, that Crawley is going places, at last.
We have now stopped the decline of the market and relocated it to a sensible location. We are in an advanced stage of the Queens Square infrastructure improvements as the detailed designs are finalised and we go out to tender for the contractor to carry out the work. Preparatory work will start in March with the main works starting in June. We will, of course, keep all the shops and businesses working as normal during the works. We will be bringing forward our plans for Telford Place, the site next to the library, very soon, at the same time as we see the development of the former nurse’s home site proceeding quickly. We expect the former Southern Counties site to commence development soon as well.
The vacant shop where Evans cycles used to be has been occupied quickly and we expect the former Index building opposite to be redeveloped soon, now that planning permission has been granted for retails units with apartments above. And we expect to be making further announcements regarding new retailers in the Queens Square very soon -; I’m sure that you have seen that the hoardings in preparation for new occupants have gone up already.
All across our Town, the Labour run Council is making changes for the better. Increasing the number of grass cuts each year, building social housing, installing solar panels on public buildings and on our housing, investing in Tilgate Park, improving the K2, rolling out an employment and skills plan and regenerating our Town Centre, to name but a few. This is happening due to our vision of the Town for the future, our drive to make these improvements and our ambition to keep on delivering for Crawley. All this will be at risk on May 5th -; please support your Labour Council, working for a better Crawley.
Cllr Peter Smith -; Labour Ifield and Ifield West
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development