Care home moves a step forward

Chris Burke

Tonbridge residents walking and driving along Quarry Hill Road will have noticed a large gap where a parade of shops and offices used to be opposite St Stephen’s Church.

There is now nothing but a pile of rubble after the parade was demolished to make way for a 63-bed luxury care home which many locals campaigned against.

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Councillor Sarah Spence was among those who objected to the new development when plans were put forward last year, as she believes there will be too many units in a relatively tight space.

However, the joint application from Castlemead Group, Porthaven and Thomas Aston was given approval by the borough council in March. This was despite fears over an increase in traffic volumes. Planning officers said they were satisfied that revisions to the proposed site had been made after it was originally rejected in October 2014 on the grounds of its design.

The Tonbridge Historical Society says the site was originally important as prime agricultural farmland until the 19th century. From the 1840’s, the area experienced rapid development with the emergence of the railway station and creation of Pembury Road.

George Buswell, the society’s Chairman, said: “Quarry Hill Road was quite an important area of Tonbridge, and up until the arrival of the railways had been open farmland owned by two farms including Tilehouse Farm. It’s near the railway station, which was originally on the other side of the road to where it is now, but was replaced in the 1860’s around the same time a police station was built at its present location.”

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