The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Royal Tunbridge Wells


MAP - Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Centre

parking zones, car parks, churches, red letter boxes, public toilets, parks, sports/leisure facilities

Parking in the Town Centre, RTW - Zone C
Parking in Zone C — York Road - Inner London Road - Church Road - Mount Pleasant Road
  • Residents On-Street Parking Permits and Visitor Permits in Zone C (proof of residency required)

    MAP - Parking Zone C - Royal Tunbridge Wells

    since 7 November 2009: TWO permits per household - annual fee (2011):35,- / 50,- (2nd)
    since 7 November 2009: visitor permits - "on street visitors' vouchers book" (2011): 10,- for 10 permits

  • Town Centre Car Park - Charges 2011 (Pay & Display)
    (scale of charges - list of car parks in Royal Tunbridge Wells)
    - car park charging hours: Monday - Saturday: 8am - 6pm
    - FREE parking during evenings/nights in Town Centre Car Parks
    - car park charging hours on Sunday: 10am - 4pm (starting 21 Oct 2007)

  • Permit for Commercial Vehicles - the dispensation notice allows the vehicle to park beyond the time waiting period and costs 10,- per day per vehicle; — obtainable from the Tunbridge Wells Gateway
Tunbridge Wells Gateway - opening 3 November 2008
From 3 November 2008:
from the Tunbridge Wells Gateway — Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's Customer Services
at 8 Grosvenor Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells (close to Fiveways)
Open: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9am - 5pm; Thursday 9am - 6.30pm; Saturday 10am - 4pm.

Sites for Revelopment in the Town Centre, RTW
Sites for Redevelopment
  • Summer Hill House, 73 Inner London Road
Renovation of Summerhill House as a family townhouse starts in autumn 2010.

January 2008 - Some progress to bring the empty house into use, one of the RTW Town Forum's Top Grot Spots!

For more info on the Planning Portal (Application 08/00297/FUL/Bob Dunn): 73 London Road, RTW
Part change of use, conversion and alterations to form seven apartments comprising one bedsit, five one-bed and one two-bed apartments, alterations to existing cottage at rear, and associated access and parking
Applicant Sion Holdings Ltd - Agent: Broadlands, Medway House, Linden Close, The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells

April 2008 - TWBC agreed to the proposed 8 dwellings! Another cramming example!
- Due to the density another front garden and rear garden go for the sake of occupiers' car parking !

Sites with negative impact in the Town Centre, RTW
Sites with a negative impact on their neighbourhood
  • Ritz Building / former ABC Cinema site at Mount Pleasant Road / Church Road
    'Grot Spot' Cinema - since 2000
  • Shopfront and Balconies at 33 - 39 Church Road
  • 'rubble trap' at the corner Church Road, Inner London Road
  • 'rubble trap' in the service alley between 22 and 24 York Road
  • 'rubble trap' in the service alley between 46 and 48 York Road
  • shoddy looking front patios at 27 and 29 York Road
  • Satellite dishes and cheap looking plastic windows are downgrading many facades.
  • Unsatisfactory solution to waste bin arrangements at Trinity House and Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre
  • Cotswold Outdoors/Cycles UK/Ismail Cafe - facade and warehouse gates on York Road
    in need of decoration
  • York Road is in a Conservation area with many buildings being listed.
    The road could look even better would landlords and owners invest regularly in maintenance.
Sites of concern in the Town Centre, RTW
Sites of concern
  • 99 - 101 Mount Pleasant Road was occupied by fast food chain Burger King. During many months in 2005 residents suffered under unnecessary noise pollution. TWBC Environmental Department had served an abatement notice. Burger King has moved from Tunbridge Wells and La Tasca, a Spanish theme "tapas" restaurant will open on the premises. The new owners seem to be keener on a good neighbourly relationship. We will keep a close eye on the developments.
    - April 2006 we find out: La Tasca pulled out! - We learn from TWBC that the license Tasca achieved was transferred to the company: 'Took us a long time Ltd'.
    - DIM T opened on Wednesday 12 July 2006. Dim T closes January 2009.

  • Illegal works were carried out at the listed Trinity House in spring 2005 to install a "comfort cooling system". TWBC took a laisser faire approach and planning conditions to a retro application have still not been met more than 21 months later (01.01.07).

    In August 2006 — Gleeds (Trinity House) make an application for replacement of fixed metal windows with opening windows. - Reasons: "to allow greater circulation of air within the building"; "to provide ventilation to ground floor spaces which currently have no other source of fresh air".
    Has the comfort cooling system failed ?

    Trinity House - collection of refuse bins - June 2007

    June 2007 — Trinity House refuse bins (3 by now) 'decorate' the historical footpath leading from York Road to Trinity.
    - The consequence of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's attitude of constantly confirming that "TWBC has the power but not the duty to enforce planning conditions" creates this kind of detractors in the Conservation Area, in front of a listed buiding.

    January 2011 — after 5 1/2 years, the fence/gate to enclose the refuse/recycling bins was installed; but the bins stayed outside, next to the public footpath.

  • The grounds around the former Trinity Church and the former Trinity School are "maintained" amateurishly by elderly volunteers, - unfortunately this is part of the reason why the area looks less attractive than it could.

  • The land oppposite 8 York Road is used as a commercial car park by TW-flats of Monson Road since August 2006. As the plot lies in the middle of a purely residential area and blightens this part of the Conservation Area residents asked for the revocation of the Certificate of Lawful Use.

  • 27 York Road once owned by CALA Homes, the developer of Telephone House site.
    It has been up for sale since summer 2005; in autumn an additional note "In need of modernisation" was fixed to the sign and the "Sale agreed" notice appeared in spring 2006. After the aggressive built-up and over-development of the Telephone House site, we will fight that this house remains a town house and is not developed again into tiny flats.
    Autumn 2006 - With the blessing of TWBC's Planning Department, a Mr Whitaker turned the property into a dwelling house to be used by different occupiers as defined within Class C3 under Housing Act 2004 (multiple occupancy). We maintain that it would have made a fine town house for a family.

    In 2007, the tiny front patio is not anymore a 'green space' (compare to the front patio with laurel hedge and trees of the adjacent Cambridge Villas of the Norfolk Grange development !) - the patio is just enough to park a car along the house's front facade !

  • The south side of houses 13 - 15 Dudley Road is plagued by pigeons creating a serious health hazard. No. 13 had spikes fitted in 2009; the facade was painted in autumn 2010.

Special sites in the Town Centre, RTW
Special site
  • No. 1 Clarence Road - corner Church Road is the former Bank House, the home of the Beechings, family of bankers.
    In November 2005 it is quoted in Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Property Asset Management Plan (Housing - Temporary Accommodation and Hostels) as Clarence Road Hostel with 11 units (property owned by the Council): "One tenant remains and once vacant, the property is in need of substantial improvement. Internal discussions commenced in respect of disposal or alternative use for the building."
    Since then it has been boarded and the future plans for this listed building are not known.

    No.1 Clarence Road - corner Church Road, Royal Tunbridge WellsIn July 2006 Tunbridge Wells Borough Council sold the 'Clarence House'.
    On 26 July timber panels were erected screening off the old cast iron railings. By 15 August it became a lilac wall. We have been informed that a planning application would be needed - none has been filed yet (15 Sep 2006); beginning October the hoarding's colour changed to creamy with a lilac border on the top!

    In autumn 2006, planning consent for the conversion into flats is granted.

    No.1 Clarence Road - corner Church Road, Royal Tunbridge WellsIn June 2007 Regalpoint together with John Jarvis, Tunbridge Wells Builders of Goods Station Road/Albert Street announce: Clarence House, Tunbridge Wells - stylish conversion of a Grade 2* historic house to provide 1 and 2 bedroom apartments with parking.

    John Jarvis, Builder of Tunbridge Wells, builder yard at Goods Station Road / Albert StreetURBAN BLIGHT -
    John Jarvis workshops and builder's yard surrounded by residential, registered as a Grot Spot with the RTW Town Forum. Something to think about !

Remediated sites in the Town Centre, RTW
Remediated sites since 2005
  • A positive visual change (January 2005) in the area was laying bricks in the pavement area on the south side of York Road between Mount Pleasant and Telephone House Development. This is a positive contribution to the Conservation Area and the setting of the adjacent listed buildings.

  • Church Road has one eyesore removed! The wine merchant who renovated 43 - 45 Church Road earns respect and praise turning this place into something more acceptable than a private pole dancing club as previously planned.

  • The Priory, 2 - 3 Church Road, (listed) was converted into residential dwellings . Finally, in autumn 2005, the construction fence at the public square is removed and the laurel hedge blends in perfectly.

  • No. 42 York Road (listed) - The cast iron balcony was restored in 2006; the scaffolding covering the whole house disappeared after 18 months in summer 2007 - it was worth the waiting!

Tunbridge Wells Farmers Market
Farmers Market
  • The Farmers Market has been declared a great success by TWBC. The Market takes place on Civic Way (outside the Town Hall) Royal Tunbridge Wells (2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, from 9am-2pm).

English Heritage -
English Heritage is the Government's statutory adviser on the historic environment

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