Restaurants, bars and cafes part of a new multi-million pound venture

HOTSPOT The Knights Park complex in Tunbridge Wells is the site for a planned new food and drinks centre.

A NEW food and drink hot spot is to be created in Tunbridge Wells as it takes the place of two venues which will be demolished.

It will be built on the site of the American-style diner Frankie and Benny’s and the next door Hop House pub on the Knights Park leisure and retail complex.

The food and drinks centre, the subject of a planning application to the borough council, will be alongside the existing Odeon Cinema, Hollywood Bowl, and Nuffield Health gym.

The large single-storey building has been designed to be sub-divided into six units that are expected to contain a range of restaurants, bars, and cafes.

The area will be surrounded by outdoor seating, new paving and landscaping, with trees and hedging.

The development will also create 29 parking spaces, one disabled space with 25 of those with Electric Vehicle Charging (EVC) points.

The centre will be open from 10am to 11.30pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am to 10.30pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

The plans will be put forward to the planning committee with a decision expected in early May.

Business Champion, Cllr Matthew Sankey (Alliance) told the Times that the project is a ‘positive and progressive step forwards for the people of Sherwood’.


“It will hopefully create more jobs and attract a range of alternative traders, possibly even some independent local shops as well as the multi-international companies as well.”


The New York-Italian restaurant is a family favourite and remains open, but the Hop House pub is vacant and boarded up.

The application was submitted by Abrdn Plc, formerly Standard Life Aberdeen plc, a global investment company and the largest asset manager in the UK with over £500 billion in assets.

Abrdn has been approached for comment.

National Highways has said they have ‘No objections’ when it comes to the developments impact on the main road, in this case, the A21.

The council said they will not be commenting at this time whilst they await a decision.

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