Car parks could go in Council asset sale

UP FOR SALE? 9-10 Crescent Road

A CONSULTATION is closing next week (February 9) on plans to sell ‘surplus’ Council assets which could see buildings across the Borough – including five car parks – hit the market.

The Asset Management Plan will shape next year’s budget and help the local authority tackle a costly maintenance backlog, said Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC), in a report accompanying the consultation.

“The condition of the TWBC estate has deteriorated over several years where the optimum required investment has not been possible due to budgetary pressures on Council funding.”

‘Reactive maintenance’ now constitutes 40 per cent of maintenance spending, instead of the recommended 30 per cent, due to ‘historic and ongoing funding issues’ – resulting in a backlog.

The Great Hall, Mount Pleasant, Meadow Road and Torrington car parks are to be ‘reviewed for development and sale’, under the consultation proposals, and TWBC will consider disposing of the freehold to the Linden Road car park.

In Paddock Wood, the Wesley Centre, one of the town’s oldest buildings still in public hands, could be reviewed for development and sale.

However, Cllr Christopher Hall, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance, said: “It is unlikely that we would have a decision on the future of the Wesley Centre until after the new community centre in Paddock Wood is open.”

And he stressed: ‘We will need to review the responses to the consultation and then Cabinet will decide what will be a priority.


“Timescales will emerge as part of this process. It’s possible that some sites will stay in use and be identified for disposal at a later date.”


He added: “The Gateway building (8 Grosvenor Road) is already on the market and has attracted quite a bit of positive interest.”

The property at 9-10 Crescent Road – marked to be ‘reviewed for development’ – already has a potential new landlord, with the Civic Society due to present plans for a Decimus Burton Museum and Study Centre this spring.

Meanwhile, 33-36 Crescent Road is also due to be reviewed for development.

In Warwick Park, council-owned land has been marked: ‘freehold to be disposed of’ – which would see the freehold being offered to the current tenant.

Tunbridge Wells Target Shooting Club was founded in 1903, just after the Boer War, by the then Lord Abergavenny.

The report also suggests surrendering the lease for TN2 in Sherwood –currently the site of Sherwood Library, the Ukraine Relief Group and Sherwood Men’s Shed.

The TWBC Asset Management Plan consultation is at until February 9.

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