Southborough Hub project moves forward

Paul Apps Benenden Hospital

The development of the Southborough Hub took a major step forward this week with the submission of a formal planning application to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

The application sets out a detailed design for the proposed complex, which will see a new library, theatre, coffee shop and football pavilion as well as community rooms and town council offices.

Most of the new hub will be built on the site of the Royal Victoria Hall Theatre, which will be demolished, and will be partially funded by the sale of part of the playing fields to the rear of the theatre.

Adjoining land previously owned by Tesco will also be included.

The submission of the planning application comes after an eight-week consultation in December and January, followed by a further planning exhibition in July, both of which sought more feedback from the community on the proposals.

Delivery of the Southborough Hub has been a collaborative work between Southborough Town Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) and Kent County Council (KCC).

Peter Oakford, KCC member for Tunbridge Wells and a past chairman of Southborough Town Council, said:

“The submission of this planning application and the purchase of the Tesco land is yet another sign that the three partners working together can truly deliver a scheme that will benefit all the residents of Southborough and High Brooms.

“This site has been an eyesore in Southborough for far too long and these plans give our town the opportunity to finally have the town centre it always needed.

“I am delighted to see progress being made and look forward to a successful planning outcome.”

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