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Major town centre regeneration begins in Crawley

Crawley Borough Council and property investment and development firm Westrock have started a major mixed-use scheme that will help regenerate the town centre and provide much-needed new housing and office space.

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The public private partnership between Crawley Borough Council and Westrock will ultimately see the current Town Hall replaced.

Once finished, the redevelopment at the eastern end of The Boulevard in Crawley will include:

  • A new, nine-storey building housing a new Town Hall and office space
  • 273 new apartments, including 109 affordable homes
  • A new public square with public artwork
  • New commercial units.

Work is well underway to build 91 apartments over nine storeys on the site of the former two-storey car park next to the current Town Hall. These are scheduled for completion in November 2020.

The eastern end of the Town Hall complex has been decommissioned, with demolition starting this month.

The nine-storey building, which will house the new 41,000 sq. ft. Town Hall and 77,000 sq. ft. commercial offices across 5.5 floors, will start to be constructed by Kier in spring 2020. This building is scheduled for completion in late 2021.

A new public square with artwork will also be created outside the new building.

Once the new building is open, the remainder of the current Town Hall will be demolished to make way for the final phase of redevelopment – a 10-storey block featuring 182 apartments with ground floor commercial space opening on to the new square.

Through its rental brand PLATFORM_, Westrock has already delivered 185 purpose-built rented homes in Crawley, which benefit from professional on-site management and a range of amenities including gym, residents’ lounge, roof terrace and a yoga studio.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“This is a hugely important step in this major project because this investment will save money for taxpayers and generate income for the council, which will help us maintain services. This is a very good deal for Crawley.”

Matt Willcock, Development Director of Westrock, said:

“Our joint venture with Crawley Borough Council shows the benefits of public-private partnerships. Working closely with Crawley, we will deliver much-needed new housing, workspace and public realm as well as an upgraded Town Hall.”

Chris Lawrence, Operations Director for Kier Regional Building, said:

“The start of works on this impressive project is a major milestone in the construction of the new Town Hall for Crawley Borough Council.

“As the local Crawley-based office of Kier Regional Building we are delighted to be delivering this project and look forward to seeing the structure take shape in the coming months.”

For more details on these plans visit https://investcrawley.co.uk/development/town-hall

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Safety warning calls after two washing fires including one in Southgate, Crawley

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Firefighters are reminding householders of some simple safety steps when using electrical appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines.

It follows two incidents in two days.

In the first incident firefighters were called after a pile of folded washing caught fire after being tumble-dried over the weekend.

A crew from Bognor Regis Fire Station was mobilised at 01.56am on Saturday to reports of a fire in a home on Lion Road in Pagham.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the property was heavily smoked logged, but thanks to a working smoke alarm, the three occupants had been alerted and had been able to escape from the property.

The fire started after the home owner had washed and tumble-dried some towels earlier on in the evening. These were then stacked and put in a hessian type bag in the hallway. But in the early hours of the morning, the towels, which had self-heated, began to smoke and caught fire. Fortunately, the homeowner had a working smoke alarm.

Crews removed the towels to fresh air and extinguished them.

In the second incident  at 4.10pm on Sunday, firefighters were called to a washing machine fire in a first floor flat in Imperial Mews. Two appliances from Crawley and a Surrey Fire & Rescue Service crew from Salfords were mobilised. On arrival, firefighters wearing two sets of breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose reel and a CO2 extinguisher.

The fire damaged washing machine was removed from the property. Nobody was injured during the incident, but the property sustained smoke damage which meant the resident needed alternative accommodation for the night.

Simon Foster, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Performance Risk and Improvement Team Group Manager said:

“At this time of year, people are using their tumble dryers far more than at other times of the year.

“When taking clothes out of the tumble dryer, make sure you wait for laundry to cool down before putting it away. Oil residue and oxygenating chemicals from stain removing detergents can create a chemical reaction causing items like tea towels to self-heat, smoulder and could catch fire.

“Once clothes have cooled down, make sure you store them in a well-ventilated area.”  

The fire service is reminding people of the following safety tips when using electrical appliances:

•Look out for product recall notices.

•Register your appliance – appliances up to 12 years old can be registered on the Register My Appliance website.

•Don’t run appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers overnight or when you are out.

•Always read the manufacturer’s instructions.

•Have your appliance serviced by a qualified engineer.

•Do not put rags or materials into a tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids. You can find out more about home fire safety by visiting the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service website here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/electrical-and-heating-appliance-safety-advice/

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