Town hall redevelopment decision due next week

Artist's impression of the new Crawley Town Hall building
Artist's impression of the new Crawley Town Hall building

Plans to demolish Crawley Town Hall to make way for a replacement and 182 new homes could be approved next week.

Crawley Borough Council has been working with Westrock to develop the site north of The Boulevard.

The project seeks full approval for a replacement town hall and council offices, commercial office space, a new public square, and improvements to the multi-storey car park.

The remaining part of the application is in outline for 182 units and some commercial space on the western part of the site.

The application is due to be discussed by the council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday and is recommended for approval by officers.

Officers acknowledged the proposal would involve the loss of the existing town hall building, which is closely related to Crawley’s New Town history, but the possibility of it being listed has been dismissed by the Secretary of State.

They went on to argue in their report that the scheme would create a modern town hall building as well as by intensifying the use of the site and provide residential accommodation and new commercial offices space.

They concluded: “This will create economic growth and help to address Crawley’s housing needs, including the provision of affordable units. The scheme will also create a new public square, enhancing the public realm in the area.”

‘Significant amenity concerns’ about the new flats were described which officers suggested may result in the reduction of the number of flats at the reserved matters stage.

The proposed town hall and commercial office building, Block A, would be in the southeastern part of the application site on the corner of Exchange Road and The Boulevard.

It would be nine storeys high with the lower two floors containing the public and civic floorspace including the main reception are and council chamber.

The third and fourth floor would be council offices, while the top four floors would be where the commercial floorspace would be located.

Meanwhile Block B to the west and north of the proposed public square would be ten storeys high and would include 164 market units and 18 affordable homes.

A separate scheme for a block of 91 flats on the site of the park between the town hall and Babcock House was granted planning permission in July 2017.

Meanwhile another application for a district energy centre building and associated control room/store, underground pipe network route to provide heating and electricity to the buildings included in the wider town hall redevelopment scheme and other developments in Crawley town centre has not yet been determined.