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Bar Med in Crawley faces the bulldozer

By Crawley News  |  Posted: August 29, 2011

  • POPULAR: The vast majority of those who took part in the public consultation approved of the plans for the site

  • FACING DEMOLITION: The planning application outlines the proposal to knock down Bar Med

  • POPULAR: The vast majority of those who took part in the public consultation approved of the plans for the site, and inset, Bar Med, which will be demolished

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A PLANNING application has now been submitted for the Sussex House site which could mean the demolition of Bar Med.

Land Securities and development partner St James Investments want to build a Morrisons supermarket, a Travelodge hotel and restaurants.

The proposal is part of the first stage of a town centre regeneration project and would create more than 400 new jobs.

If approved the redevelopment would entail Bar Med, which was formerly the Embassy Cinema, being knocked down.

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The building was locally listed in 2010 because of its historical and architectural significance, but this is not thought likely to hamper the proposal.

Land Securities carried out a heritage impact assessment that determined the building only has a heritage significance of "low to medium".

A spokesman said: "We are the freehold owners of the Bar Med building and have a leasehold agreement with the Bar Med management company Stonegate.

"We are working closely with them to agree vacant possession."

When contacted by the News the Stonegate Pub Company had no comment to make on the proposal or whether Bar Med would look to relocate in the town.

In July, 650 people commented on the plans as part of a public consultation held in County Mall.

The results showed there was 86 per cent support for the plans, and 83 per cent of those asked said they liked the designs.

Development director Chris Ward said: "We received a lot of great feedback and some really constructive comments which have allowed us to improve the design of the buildings.

"We expect the redevelopment to encourage more investment into the town and to kick-start the Town Centre North regeneration programme. If the application is successful, we hope to start construction work in spring 2012."

The new development would comprise three buildings.

The first would replace the Bar Med building, and would include retail space, a cafe, restaurants and bars. The new Morrisons store and car park would sit next it and there would be a six-storey Travelodge hotel adjacent to that.

The planning application also includes details of a proposed new multistorey car park, comprising 506 spaces. There would also be an area for 60 bikes.

The plans also include highway improvements along High Street, The Boulevard and Pegler Way.

A decision by Crawley Borough Council's development control committee on the application is expected on November 16

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