Plans for Center Parcs in Sussex ‘could not be more welcome’

After the last 17 months Crawley, Gatwick Airport and the Gatwick Diamond district have had, the news of Center Parcs coming to the area could not be more welcome.

The area has suffered its worst unemployment figures for years and businesses have been on their knees because of the global pandemic.

But there is hope.

This week we had more countries added to the Green list - which was welcome news to Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate - and the majority of restrictions being lifted on Monday (July 19).

This shot of another Center Parcs shows what the proposed Crawley site could look like. Photo: Centre Parcs

The news Center Parcs is planning a site in West Sussex has added to that hope and optimism for the future of our local economy and tourism.

Staycations have had a boom in the UK because of the pandemic and Center Parcs are capitalizing on that.

But the new site in Worth is not happening because of the pandemic, these plans have been in the pipeline for three and half years.

Martin Dalby, CEO of the holiday firm, said the ‘massive’ investment in the area will create 1,500 permanent jobs, boost youth employment and promote biodiversity.

He has also promised the jobs will be year-round and permanent.

When we posted the initial story on our Facebook page there were comments raising fears about the impact on the environment and wildlife.

These are genuine concerns and should not be taken lightly. We have seen similar concerns with the housing around Horsham and the Knepp Castle Estate.

But Mr Dalby promises they will be good neighbours to everyone.

Looking at the other Center Parcs around the country, they fit into the landscape and become part of the local communities.

I have no doubt it will be the same here.

Mr Dalby said they will work with local businesses and suppliers and that must be music to their ears after the last 17 months.

Anything that helps this area get back on its feet following the pandemic with jobs and boosting the local economy has to be a good thing.

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