Utility Firms Blamed For “Delay” to Southborough Hub Clearance Work

Kent County Council says there will be a further chance for residents to have their say on the look of the Southborough Hub.  It says it will consult on: “the various conditions within the planning application, including the cladding for the building”.

Meanwhile, a statement on Friday from Jonathan White of KCC said: “Demolition which is currently under way on the Hub site has been delayed due to issues with utility providers being unwilling to disconnect services in a timely manner. Onsite demolition should be complete in the next couple of weeks”.

New homes map

Later this month, the preferred housing developer, Crest Nicholson, will be seeking residents’ views on its detailed designs for the 69 new apartments to be built on part of the playing fields.  (The area outlined in red above).

The exhibition will be at Southborough Library, from 3-8pm on Tuesday, 27 June. Crest Nicholson says the design proposals include:
* Development capped at 3 storeys, as opposed to a maximum of 5 storeys permitted under the Outline permission
*Significantly more parking than the Outline scheme
* Higher quality, more functional public space

The other points from Friday’s KCC statement are:

“The Tesco site and the rear of the Lloyds bank land has been purchased by KCC. The Lloyds building has been purchased by JVIP ltd who previously refurbished the old Flying Dutchman Pub across the road.

The residential development has been on the market and a purchaser has been selected. Negotiations are now underway and due diligence is being done prior to finalising the sale.

Work is progressing on the detailed designs of the Hub that will allow the project to go out to tender for the construction of the facility. The project has engaged a theatre consultant to advise on specialist elements.

The Assembly Hall Theatre team at Tunbridge Wells Council are keen to take on the running of the new hall/theatre for a trial period of two years, working with Southborough Town Council to assess demand and long term sustainability. This will be the subject of a report to Cabinet at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in September, when a final decision will be made.

Working with the football club, the project continues to seek to secure FA Grant funding for the pavilion. A bid for up to £500k is expected in July subject to confirmation from the FA foundation on timelines.

The GP surgery is progressing however the NHS are seeking to include a number of additional services into the facility which could impact on timelines and are subject to further discussions.

Work is progressing with potential developers and landowners to determine whether adjacent facilities in need of improvements can be done in tandem with the project coming forward.

The project will seek to enter into agreements for lease with the shop, café, football pavilion, community/theatre element and GP surgery before the contract to build the facility is signed. The project has received numerous approaches on many of these elements and will be dealing with them in due course.

The draft S106 agreement is ready to be signed so that the planning can be validated. It cannot currently be signed as the land it binds is still owned by TWBC and the borough cannot enter into a contract with itself. KCC will need to call the TWBC land once demolition of their buildings has been completed, the S106 can then be signed and the planning is validated.”




The KCC person in charge of the project can be contacted at:

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