Date set for Calverley Square inquiry
7th January 2019
THE Council has announced the date of a public inquiry into its controversial Calverley Square project.
The inquiry, to be held on February 12 at the Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel in Pembury, is to look into the council’s compulsory purchase and acquisition of rights of Calverley Grounds, the site of its new £93 million civic centre complex.
An independent inspector has been appointed by the Planning Inspectorate to conduct the inquiry, which is expected to last several weeks.
The Council has been in negotiations to acquire and obtain new rights over land as part of its plans to develop the new office and theatre complex and has issued Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs).
The public inquiry has been set up to consider objections to these CPOs, which includes Mount Pleasant and Great Hall car parks, and part of Calverley Grounds including the dental surgery known as The Lodge.
The inquiry will hear evidence from both the Council and objectors.
The Calverley Square project has met with stiff opposition since it was first approved in May last year, including a failed legal challenge and more than 150 objections lodged during the public consultation phase.
Once completed, Calverley Square will see a new 1,200-seat theatre to replace the 985-seat Assembly Hall, a civic suite along with council and commercial offices and underground car parking.