Proposed 1,200-seat Kent theatre secures planning permission

An artist's impression of the £41 million theatre An artist's impression of the £41 million theatre
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Planning permission has been granted for a 1,200-seat theatre in the centre of Tunbridge Wells.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s planning committee unanimously approved the proposals at a meeting on May 9.

This was despite around 150 objections to the scheme during the public consultation phase of the planning application.

The £41 million theatre, which will be able to stage “high-quality touring shows”, is part of a wider civic development scheme proposed by the council that will also include offices, an underground car park and new landscaping with around 70 trees.

Council leader David Jukes said: “The committee’s decision is very good news.

“The next 10 years will see major changes in the town and this development will be a key part of the transformation and will play an important role in delivering economic benefits to Tunbridge Wells.”

Cabinet member Tracy Moore added: “The decision brings us a step closer to delivering the vision in the cultural strategy for Tunbridge Wells to become the cultural heart of the Kent and Sussex Weald.”

Work on the scheme is expected to begin in 2019 with completion scheduled for 2021.

The development will be built at the entrance to Calverley Grounds park. While it is built, the Assembly Hall Theatre, which was declared unfit for purpose in 2014, will remain open.

However, when building work is finished, the new venue will replace the Assembly Hall.