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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

Coronavirus

West Sussex refuses to support Crawley schools decision of NOT fining parents for keeping children absent

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September seems to creeping ever closer and with it comes the supposed return to school for children across the town.

But with the news that parents ‘must’ send their children back to school come the start of the new school year, also came the news that one head in paticular had gone on record to say he would not fine any parent who kept their child at home.

Head of St Wilfrid’s Michael Ferry was interviewed on breakfast television where he stated that he would not fine a parent. This then led to a whole debate about who was right and what the right decision should be.

Now West Sussex County Council has added to this furore by refusing to support a decision to not fine a parent made by any head teacher or school in Crawley.

In a statement a West Sussex County Council Spokesperson said:

“We welcome the plan for all children to return to the classroom in September after, what has been for many, a lengthy absence.

“We recognise that some children may be anxious about returning to school and will work closely with our schools to help them prepare children and build the confidence of parents  and carers in the plans for a safe and managed return.

“We will continue to work with schools to engage with and support parents and carers in getting their children back into school before considering issuing penalties for poor attendance. Issuing fines for non-attendance is always a last resort.”

The lack of apparent support from the county council shows an ever growing divide on decisions being made around the ongoing problems with the coronavirus.

Responding to the comments from West Sussex, Michael Ferry said:

“The guidance allows head teachers as far as they can to make local decisions to meet the needs of their school communities.  If one of those decisions happens to be that we are not going to fine people for something that isn’t their fault then I would expect the local authority to support the headteachers in doing so.

If only 10% turn up when we reopen then I would say I have failed because I have not got across the message about what measures we are taking to protect our students.”

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