Smart new affordable homes open in Crawley with an ‘imperial’ twist

It was good news this week for Crawley residents struggling to find affordable housing in the town with the completion of Imperial Mews, a brand-new Stonewater development of 48 rental and shared ownership homes in Brighton Road.

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The £6.6 million mixed tenure development is on the former site of Crawley Down Peugeot, which was originally the old 1920s Imperial Cinema. Although it is an all-new development, Imperial Mews has kept the old Imperial Cinema’s iconic 1920’s façade.

The scheme has been financed and developed by locally-based social housing provider Stonewater, working with Crawley Borough Council and regional contractors PMC Construction & Development Services. The development has also received £964,178 of grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Close to Crawley train station and the town centre, the new Stonewater development offers a mix of 43 one- and two-bedroom apartments for affordable rent and five two-bedroom townhouses houses with private back gardens. The houses are available for low-cost shared ownership starting at £96,750 for a 40% share. The scheme includes an additional 453 sq m of ground floor space for two commercial units to be used for professional services/offices, communal gardens and residents’ parking.

Commemorative mural

As part of its commitment to creating a sense of place within the new housing community, Stonewater has also commissioned a mural created by Artist Esther Coombs in association with ‘a space arts’. The artwork depicts the Imperial Cinema during its heyday on a metal frame in the shape of a film reel.

“Imperial Mews is Stonewater’s first affordable housing scheme in Crawley which we couldn’t have delivered without the commitment of our partners; Crawley Borough Council, PMC Construction & Development Services and our local suppliers,” says Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. “We hope this exciting mixed housing development, with its landmark façade, will go some way towards helping to alleviate the shortage of affordable homes in the town and boost local economic growth and prosperity.”

He adds: “We look forward to working with the Council and our construction partners to bring more high quality, low-cost housing to the Crawley community where it is needed most.”

Councillor Stephen Joyce, Cabinet Member for Housing at Crawley Borough Council, says: “This development is a great contribution to our efforts in providing more affordable housing for the growing population of Crawley and I am delighted that we have been able to provide residents with such high-quality homes. Stonewater’s hard work in developing much-needed rental and shared ownership accommodation in the town is both an asset to the council and the town itself and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

Stonewater, which has local offices in Crawley and is signed up to the Crawley Developer and Partner Charter, owns and manages 866 properties in West Sussex.