Decision details

Tonbridge Town Centre Asset Review - Phase 2

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Consideration was given to recommendation FRP 24/4 of the Finance, Regeneration and Property Scrutiny Select Committee in respect of the Tonbridge Town Centre Asset Review.


Due regard was given to the detailed reports and assessments provided by the external consultant, Mace, together with the views expressed by the Scrutiny Select Committee. 


It was suggested that the membership of the Town Centre Programme Board be the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Regeneration and Property, Cabinet Member for Community Services, Councillors Athwal, Bridge, Hood and Mehmet.




(1)            the Phase 2 reports from Mace be noted;


(2)            in order to facilitate efficient and consistent decision making, Officers be instructed to develop terms of reference for a Tonbridge Town Centre Programme Board (as set out in 1.3.6, 1.3.7 and Annex 6) for Cabinet approval and the membership of the Board as above, be noted;


(3)            the Borough Councils general approach to parking should be to provide unallocated parking spaces between the current 970 and anticipated future peak demand, on the grounds that the proposals from Sainsbury PLC and the potential provision of a hotel and medical practice were likely to attract greater numbers to the town;


(4)            options for a podium parking solution with development above, be explored for Angel West car park;


(5)            the Borough Councils general approach to housing should be to focus on low-rise high-density housing types and that any development should maximise affordable housing provision and place the needs of local residents first and should preferably be delivered by a Borough Council owned housing company, subject to further investigation by the Programme Board and more detailed viability work being undertaken;


(6)            options for retail and commercial use around public spaces that provide flexible, simple units to optimise value be explored, and that the Borough Council acts as landlord for any new retail units and ensures that the viability of current commercial businesses are not put at risk by the creation of an alternative shopping centre;


(7)            options for a hotel be included in the project, with the possibility of the Borough Council acting as developer and landlord;


(8)            the inclusion of a GP Practice be supported on the grounds of providing adequate infrastructure for residents and that the Borough Council looks to incorporate this into the redevelopment as landlord;


(9)            the Borough Council should aspire to undertake a master developer role to influence the shape, style and design of the development so that it remains sympathetic to the local area; and the extent and scope of this role be reviewed by the Tonbridge Town Centre Programme Board;


(10)        the Borough Council should explore a collaborative agreement with Network Rail in relation to their train station car park sites and that the Tonbridge Town Centre Programme Board consider whether other stakeholders and/or landowners should be approached;


(11)        the Borough Council should commit to a net zero baseline as a fundamental requirement of the development;


(12)        to guarantee continuity of service for leisure and community users, the Angel Centre should remain open and in operation until a replacement facility becomes available;


(13)        upon completion of the Alliance Leisure feasibility study on options for potential leisure and community uses, facilities and locations, and subject to agreement of the Tonbridge Town Centre Programme Board, full public consultation be undertaken as soon as possible on the master plan proposals;


(14)        the Tonbridge Town Centre Programme Board be requested to liaise with key stakeholders, partners and landowners to discuss options around services and operations;


(15)        Officers be instructed to develop a communication strategy for the Tonbridge Town Centre Project to be reported to a future meeting of the Programme Board for consideration; and


(16)        Officers be instructed to progress a masterplan exercise for the area east of the High Street.

Publication date: 05/04/2024

Date of decision: 02/04/2024

Decided at meeting: 02/04/2024 - Cabinet

Effective from: 13/04/2024

Accompanying Documents: