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Revealed: Why Crawley’s recycling site is still shut – and will be for some time yet

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Back in July a fire caused the Household Waste Recycling site in Crawley to close.

The fire, while very intense, had caused significant damage but initial reports suggested that the site would only need to be closed for about a week as assessments took place.

Weeks later and no opening, more statements about assessments but no commitment to an opening.

As more and more comment requests were pushed back with the same statement it became clear that the fire had caused more damage than first thought.

Now the true extent of the fire can be revealed.

Numerous metal girders that support the large roof were soo badly damaged that they need to be replaced as well as some of the cladding that covers the building.

But the fire damage did much more, its damage was so intense that the electrics for the whole building now need to be ‘fully’ replaced.

The buildings wires, lights and even cameras all melted during the fire.

With such a large amount of work to be done the site is likely to remain shut for months to come and a cause has still not been identified.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said:

“The cause of the fire has not been identified, however lithium ion batteries are a frequent cause of waste site fires. They are commonly and increasingly found in a variety of products, including mobile phones, toys, cameras, eCigarettes and laptop computers.”

The council has also now been able to confirm that they have cleared out and cleaned the affected areas of the building that had damage from the fire as more structural assessments continue.

But there is some good news. A temporary Household Recycling facility will open within the grounds of the current site towards the end of September.

But in the meantime residents are being asked to use the sites in either Horsham or East Grinstead.

Business

BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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