THE Martells, who own the family-run department store in Queen’s Walk, have unveiled their plans to redevelop the site.
The scheme they propose is a radical one – the complete demolition of the store and the redevelopment of the land behind it to provide new retail, leisure and residential uses, and an improved public walkway.
The plans were laid out in store yesterday afternoon and a consultation team will be back again on Saturday morning to answer questions from the public about the proposals.
The plans are also available online until 14 October at: www.queenswalkconsultation.co.uk
The Martells propose to demolish all the existing buildings on site and redevelop the area to provide a residential-led mixed-use development comprising up to 120 new homes, new shops, leisure uses, restaurants and cafes.
Given the town centre location, the proposed residential properties will be a mix of one and two bedroomed homes. Each new home will have its own amenity space in the form of a balcony or terrace and some of the units will have car parking spaces.
All units will have cycle spaces and there will be shared refuse storage areas.
The commercial uses will be serviced from Queen’s Road. Refuse and delivery vehicles will be able to enter the site to collect waste and make deliveries and there will be a separate, dedicated refuse area for the commercial units.
Queens Walk will be retained and upgraded to provide a new, high-quality pedestrian thoroughfare, and the existing canopy will be removed to allow light into the area and increase the sense of openness.
A six-storey new building is proposed on the eastern part of the site (closest to the London Road entrance).
But moving westwards along Queens Walk the proposed building would reduce in height to five storeys to respond to neighbouring buildings. The new homes and commercial units will overlook Queens Walk to ensure activity and surveillance along the public walkway.
It is proposed to complete the development with a four storey building, which will front onto the car park and Queen’s Road. This building will be of a scale similar to the neighbouring buildings and will be set back from Queen’s Road to ensure that it does not have an over-bearing impact on the College building.
A project spokesman said that they hope people will take the time to comment on the proposals before they are submitted for planning permission.
“We hope the proposed design solution provides an exciting development opportunity to improve the shopping experience and public realm without compromising the development of surrounding sites.
“This consultation is an opportunity for you to tell us what you think before a planning application is submitted to Mid Sussex District Council. We want to understand how local residents and businesses feel about modernising this part of East Grinstead town centre to improve the shopping experience.”
The Martells hope to submit their plans to Mid Sussex District Council before the end of the year.
The dark tunnel of Queen’s Walk will be opened up
The buildings will be stepped down in height between the front at London Road and the rear, overlooking Queen’s Road, and the roof will be removed from the walkway
The rear view of Martell’s across the car park
The height of the build will diminish between London Road and the back of the development
View of the site from above
View of the site from Queen’s Road
Artist’s impression of the flats, each of which will have a balcony or terrace