High Brooms MOT centre to be demolished and replaced with a self-storage facility

A CAR garage and MOT centre in High Brooms is set to be torn down as part of new plans to create a large self-storage facility for residents and local businesses, after the site is vacated this month.

Planning documents submitted to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) detail how the “somewhat not fit for purpose” Tunbridge Wells MOT Centre garage and car storage area will be knocked down to accommodate the more than 8,000sqm storage facility.

The development, which will sit on the corner of North Farm Road and Chapman Road, is expected to include a 7,885sqm storage building with a reception, service yard, three loading bays, 19 car parking spaces, two disabled spaces and two EV charging bays, along with eight cycle spaces.

Tunbridge Wells-based planning consultancy Kember Loudon Williams submitted the designs for the self-storage facility, which promises to fit an array of residential units as well as retail and industrial units, so hoping to complement the area of High Brooms.

According to documents, the proposed self-storage development is estimated to generate “one additional trip approximately every five minutes during the morning peak hour and every four minutes in the evening peak”.

However, the increase of 150 daily movements by the storage facility should not “have a severe impact on the transport network’”.

The area will be surrounded by a flower-rich grassland with trees and shrubs to replace the poor neutral grass and to improve the area’s biodiversity.

In January 2023, a pre-application advice meeting was held with planning officers from TWBC to discuss DMWR architect’s design, which was received as “very positive” in comparison to the “cluttered” and “unattractive” site that remains.

Officers fully supported the development, highlighting the long-standing traffic and congestion issues in the area, which are associated with the single-width bridge located further along North Farm Road.

In the planning documents, site developer Compound, said: “From the beginning of the design process, our ambition was to create a high quality, contextually relevant, environmentally positive building that lifts the overall street scape whilst creating an excellent experience for our users as well as local businesses and residents.

“Above all, we have sought to reinvigorate a somewhat lost and forgotten site on North Farm Road into a building with both aesthetic appeal and community benefit.”

“Self-storage is an ever-growing sector in the UK and is in high demand from local residents and small businesses alike.

“Providing a much-needed service to local customers is at the heart of every provider’s aims and is echoed here by Compound.

“Self-storage as a use provides low impact, high-quality commercial activity and connects the local area with efficient and secure solutions to storage problems for households and local businesses.”

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