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Plans approved by Crawley Council for new Town Hall, offices & flats

If the construction runs on schedule the new Town Hall will be completed by Spring 2021 & the housing will be fininshed by Summer 2022.

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Plans for a new Town Hall, offices, flats, a public square and restaurant/café were approved by Crawley Borough Council’s Planning Committee last night (5 June).

The approval marks an important milestone in a major project for the council, which will see the demolition of the existing Town Hall in two phases and the creation of a new, nine-storey building housing the new Town Hall and commercial office space; up to 182 new flats in one block; a restaurant/café under the block of flats; and a new public square.

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The Town Hall multi-storey car park will remain, but will be upgraded under these proposals.

The current Town Hall will remain the council’s administrative centre until the new building is ready to move into.

The council’s development partner, Westrock, has already gained planning permission for 91 flats on the car park to the west of the Town Hall. Across both sites, there will be 40 per cent affordable housing units.

The council will look to incorporate key elements of the existing building in the new building to retain links with the past while preparing for the future. These elements include:

  • Re-use of the timber panelling from the Council Chamber within the new building
  • Re-use of the semi-circular Portland stone features
  • Rehanging the town’s coat of arms from the Council Chamber in the new Town Hall
  • Re-use of the external coat of arms in the new reception area
  • Re-use of some external Portland stone cladding within the new building.

A new Town Hall will provide a better, fit-for-purpose building for staff, customers and councillors, achieve significant savings on the council’s current running costs and generate additional income.

The commercial offices and the housing elements of the overall development pay for the majority of the Town Hall, the refurbishment of the car park, the district heat network and public square. The commercial offices would also provide the council with a significant future income.

Demolition of part of the existing Town Hall complex – to make way for the new building – is expected to begin later this year. Construction of the new Town Hall and the first phase of housing will follow.

Councillor Andrew Skudder, Cabinet member for Resources, said:

“This is a big step for the council towards improving facilities for staff, customers and councillors. The new Town Hall will provide a significantly improved welcome and customer service experience for visitors.

“The overall scheme also brings forward another major regeneration project in the town centre. With Queens Square completed and Queensway, Eastern Gateway and Station Gateway coming forward these are exciting times for the town.”

Matt Willcock, Development Director for Westrock, said:

“This project is turning out to be a leading town centre landmark project exemplifying how thoughtful design can be balanced with sustainability, affordability, and the commercial goals of all the stakeholders involved.”

According to the predicted timescales listed on
www.regeneratingcrawley.org.uk/townhallsite the expected end date for the completion of the new Town Hall will be Spring 2021 and the housing will be completed Summer 2022.

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Police drop investigation in alleged bullying of Oriel High School boy

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Sussex Police have confirmed they have made the decision to drop an investigation into an incident of alleged bullying.

The investigation was launched following an outcry from concerned residents when a video emerged on social media.

The video has since been taken down from most social media accounts.

Earlier Susses Police had confirmed they had launched an investigation into the incident and were liaising with Oriel High School.

Now it appears their investigation has turned up new information which has led to their decision to drop the police’s involvement and hand it over to the school.

A statement from Sussex Police said:

“Police have investigated the circumstances surrounding a video on social media showing the alleged bullying of a boy by fellow students from Oriel High School in Maidenbower, Crawley.

As a result, the matter has been passed to the school for any action they feel is appropriate.”

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