Plan recognises Crawley town centre as '˜21st century space'

A new regeneration plan aims to recognise Crawley town centre as a '˜21st century space rather than following a 1950s model'.

Councillors hoped investment in Queens Square could be a catalyst for future investment in Crawley Town Centre
Councillors hoped investment in Queens Square could be a catalyst for future investment in Crawley Town Centre

Although Crawley Borough Council has secured funding for a revamped Queens Square, the first outline draft regeneration programme looks at how it will deal with around 1,800 new residential units expected in and around the town centre in the next few years.

This is due in part to permitted development rights, which allows empty office blocks to be converted to flats, and development of sites such as Telford Place.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Presenting the plan to Cabinet last Wednesday, Peter Smith (Lab, Ifield), cabinet member for planning, said: “It’s only us who can step forward and take the lead and represent the vision and ambition for the town.”

Telford Place is one of the redevelopment sites, as the council purchased the land and is looking to build up ot 185 units

He explained that they were meeting with building owners of major sites that could potentially come forward, with Overline House next to Crawley Railway Station being one of those that could soon be redeveloped.

He said the plan aimed to be comprehensive but also flexible, due to a tightening of public funding, and would offer a ‘modern, practical and realistic vision for the future’ and set out the town centre’s role as a civic and community hub, recognising it as a ‘21st century space rather than following a 1950s model’.

The programme includes plans to bring forward new high grade business space, invest in the public realm, and develop town centre neighbourhood amenities such as providing a ‘robust’ town centre maintenance and cleaning programme, attracting more health services, more public toilets, and strengthening the evening economy offer.

Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green), leader of the Conservative group, said he was pleased to see some flexibility in the programme, and added: “Something might come forward before something else so we are not boxing ourselves in, and we should not be afraid of the private sector and seeing what we can do for the town.”

Overline House next to Crawley Railway Station could be redeveloped to provide new residential flats as well as high quality commercial space

He continued: “Hopefully Queens Square will act as a further catalyst.”

Several specific sites in the town centre were mentioned including the former Crawley Library site, as well as other nearby buildings in public sector ownership.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at

2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @Crawley_Obby

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Crawley Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.