Allies and Morrison has been given the go-ahead for a new civic centre in Tunbridge Wells, including new council offices and a 1,200-seat theatre
A full planning application for the proposals, which are situated in a conservation area alongside the Grade II-listed Calverley Grounds, part of the 1830s new town designed by Decimus Burton, were voted through by Tunbridge Wells Borough councillors last week.
The new theatre is aimed at attracting major production companies to the town, and will sit beside a separate office building containing a new 1,306 headquarters for the council, a civic suite of 1,221m² and 2,528m² of commercial offices.
A report from planning officers said: ‘The buildings’ design, whilst contemporary in character, takes inspiration from the Arcadian concept and classical architectural language that shaped Decimus Burton’s design for the villas at Calverley Park.’
Model allies tunbridge wells
The main external materials for the office and theatre will be textured pale buff brick and cast stone, which the council said was in keeping with Decimus Burton’s vision.
The council said that the 2ha development would cause less than substantial harm to the character and setting of Calverley Grounds, but that the harm was outweighed by public benefits.
A two-storey car park, a dental surgery, a 1920s former park lodge and toilet block will all be demolished to make way for the new complex.
The planning officers report said that the development would ‘boost the local economy, add to the cultural offer for the benefit of the borough’s residents and visitors to the town and improve the quality of the town centre’s parking’.
Park shot allies morrison