Garden buildings tunbridge wells hospital,shed engineering plans storage,shed base on wheels,diy shed plans 8x12 gable - Review

13.02.2015
DOWN THE MARKETThe Farmers' Market has become an established part of Saturday shopping in Tunbridge Wells and twice a month it sets up in Civic Way with many stalls selling a wide range of local produce. SAVING THE COURIER ARCHIVE (AGAIN)Having rescued the bound copies of the papers going back to the 1870s when The Courier moved from North Farm to Calverley Road in 2011, the Society once again stepped in to ensure The Courier's archives are safe.
WE HEARD FROM YOUThank you to everyone who took the time to complete our membership questionnaire. The Society's 2012 Garden Party was held in the splendid surroundings of Holden House in Southborough. It really was a case of Royal Tunbridge Wells on Thursday the 31st of May when Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex visited The Pantiles as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This year Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has reintroduced the 'Tunbridge Wells in Bloom' competition which was last held in 2003. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has itself provided the flowers for the winter planting which was carried out on Saturday 2 October 2010 and pictured below you can see our Chairman planting up one of the Council's three tier planters. TOWN FORUMThe Chairman of the Civic Society, Alastair Tod attended the Town Forum on Thursday 29th July 2010.
What are the practical advantages of collocating functions at Hawkenbury which could not be obtained on the present site? Why is the Council planning to spend about twice as much on relocating to Hawkenbury as it would cost to modernise the Town Hall? Finally, if the Town Hall is unsuitable for use as a town hall how could it be suitable for a department store, for which it is said to be the only suitable site? As a result of the foresight of our predecessors we have a fine civic complex in the ideal location.
His death will be a very great loss to the Town, the Community and the Borough, particularly at a time when Tunbridge Wells faces probably the greatest challenge in its corporate history, when his meticulously-researched and challenging approach to the current situation and proposed changes would have ensured that glib, superficial justifications of the proposals would not have been tolerated. One of his strengths was that he was not English and he could therefore see issues from a different point-of-view based on his international and cosmopolitan experience.
That he and Katharina, chose to come and live in Tunbridge Wells is an event for which we should all be grateful and which leaves Tunbridge Wells very much in their debt. The Society would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Katharina for her loss of a remarkable man. The developer whose proposals for the Cinema site were approved in 2008 (or his bank) has placed it on the market, at a valuation believed to be around ?15m.
The design which won the RIBA moderated competition was of modest bulk and did contain a public square, but the approved proposals seemed to represent a step back from this. We queried the bulk of the offices dominating adjacent property, the loss of public access, the use of materials such as yellow brick, and the architectural treatment. Our impatience to see a key site developed was tempered by feeling that the design did not do justice to a location opposite Decimus Burton’s Trinity and the Priory, the Town Hall complex and Lloyds Bank, all of them listed. The Society has been concerned for some time by the Council’s expressed wish to abandon the Town Hall. The Town Hall complex is almost unique as a complete grouping of civic buildings from the 1930s, dominating the town centre, designed by the then President of the RIBA Sir Percy Thomas, and listed Grade 2, in a restrained composite of neo-Georgian and art deco styles. We hear that the site of the Town Hall (and possibly the rest of the complex) have been offered to the Council’s regeneration partners as a redevelopment site.
Like many others we are deeply concerned that this point has been reached without any publicity or debate in the Council. The Chairman has written to all members of the Council, to Greg Clark MP and to the local press to ensure the facts are generally known, and to help achieve proper public debate before the issue is decided.
The Government has agreed to the Council’s request to demolish the bandstand in Calverley Grounds. The Council calls it unsafe; the Society disputes this, but has been refused access for an independent expert.
With the Council’s wish to co-operate over a replacement we have withdrawn our opposition to the demolition of the present structure.
The Civic Society keenly supports the revival of Tunbridge Wells in Bloom, and sponsored the planting of a container in the Calverley Road precinct.
The Society is watching with close attention the emergence of policy on planning and local government of the new Government. The Society was much less enthusiastic about both the approach and the specific measures in the second paper. The Civic Society working in partnership with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has recently restored the George Whitefield Memorial in the grounds of the Kent and Sussex Hospital. The sandstone monument (pictured above before and after) is square in shape and about 3 feet high with moulded plinth, moulded cornice and ball finial. John Cunningham, when President of the Society, proposed that a panorama of Tunbridge Wells should be constructed to commemorate the centenary of the granting of the designation ‘Royal’ to the town in 1909. The Panorama Monument consists of two boulders of Wealden sandstone supporting an explanatory stainless steel plaque depicting the expansive view across the town from the site.


The Panorama Monument represents a happy and productive collaboration between the Society, the Council and other commercial and voluntary bodies in Tunbridge Wells. The official unveiling of the Panorama by the Marquess of Abergavenny took place on 25th September 2009. What better a place for the Civic Society to spread the word and offer people a chance to find out more about us, purchase our publications and even join up. In 2011 the archive was temporarily moved to Tunbridge Wells Cemetery before being moved to storage at David Salomon's in Southborough.
157 members and guests enjoyed the hospitalilty of our hosts Alastair & Julie Levack whom we wish to give our very grateful thanks.
Following a walkabout on The Pantiles and a visit to the King Charles the Martyr Church, the Royal couple met local dignitaries in the old Kings School Hall including our very own chairman John Forster. It seemed earlier we were being asked to give up our Town Hall in exchange for a pot of gold. Where there is a real synergy – such as with some functions of KCC – why can’t they be brought together in the present complex where there is surplus space, for example in the police station? The survey done twenty years ago demonstrates that the structure is fully compatible with open plan working, air conditioning, computer cabling, disabled access etc, and could house about 300 staff without the need for hot-desking. The buildings are listed, but if demolished the site available for redevelopment is only 1.5 acres, smaller than the present Cinema site, and much smaller than the Cinema site would be if extended to Lonsdale Gardens.
A town hall is where our representatives take decisions in public about the future of our community, and where the technical staff who support them are available to advise and inform.
His approach was both academic and scientific, but he was also a realist and a practical man in devising solutions. He served on the Civic Society Executive Committee for two years but was impatient for things to happen faster and as a result, he changed to the new Town Forum where he became a leading protagonist. We queried the architects’ claim to echo local features with a notional `square` at the hotel entrance (supposedly replicating Bath Square in the Pantiles), arbitrary flint panels (flint is not a Tunbridge Wells material), and ashlar sandstone facing on the offices (to `balance` the rusticated stone facing of Lloyds Bank). The sale valuation probably inhibits development of the site during the present downturn, and we wait to see if a new developer comes forward with revised designs. The Gateway was opened in 2008 for counter services, and the Town Hall has since been closed to the public, although still in use for staff and Council meetings. An architectural survey commissioned by the Council some years ago suggests it could be modernised to accommodate security controls, computer cabling, air conditioning, and disabled access at reasonable cost, and without altering the external character.
Tunbridge Wells is exceptionally lucky to have a fine civic complex in the town centre, where it could be accessible to the whole community for representative, ceremonial and administrative use. The striking original was severely damaged by a bomb in 1940 and temporarily rebuilt under wartime restrictions. However we feel it is not worth major investment, and have set our sights on securing a proper replacement, both as a permanent landscape feature, and as a base for a range of public entertainment – not just band concerts. Before any long-term developments they plan a public review of the use of the park, with particular attention to the form and site of a performance stage. Along with teams from other town organisations a group of volunteers undertook this at the end of May in the presence of the Mayor and the Town Crier.
As no great admirers of the present over-complex, over-regulated system, we urgently want to see the processes simplified, opened to local control, and reflect what can actually be done with local resources. Among other points we noted the stress on `local communities` in place of elected local authorities. The inscription to one face states ‘near this spot stood and preached that eminent servant of God George Whitefield at the opening of the original chapel built by Selina Countess of Huntingdon July 23rd 1769’.
Thanks also to Bell’s Yew Green Chapel and congregation and the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion Trust for their contributions and to the Kent and Sussex Hospital for clearing and re-turfing the surrounds.
You can see more details by clicking on the link to the Publications page on the menu to the left of this page. In 2007 Richard Still volunteered to manage the project and permission to use an ideal site on Mount Ephraim was given by the Lord of the Manor of Rusthall and the Conservators of the Commons.
The designs for the plaque and the supporting structure were produced by members of the Committee of the Civic Society – Bryan Senior and Gill Twells.
The bricks are hand made clay to match the existing High Brooms bricks.This was a ground floor extension to provide disabled access to the house and welfare facilities.
This facility is no longer available due to the sale of the property so another solution had to be found. Your committee supported this initiative and was one of eight local organizations sponsoring and planting a container in the Calverley Precinct as reported in May. This mix includes shops, offices, hotels, pubs, bars, public assembly buildings, and housing – in fact practically every possible use. The alleged structural problems on the Cinema site of building over the railway tunnel were resolved when consent was given for the now abandoned Padlake scheme. These are not functions that can be diverted to a gateway, let alone tucked away in a back office in Hawkenbury.


Scroll down to our earlier article for the reasons and the background story behind this action. Twelve years ago, he and his wife, Katharina Mahler-Bech, chose to settle in Tunbridge Wells.
He gave freely of his time and knowledge and many organisations in the Town benefited from this.
His concept of the ‘Grot Spot’, an alliterative description which will hopefully be recognised as his devising by the Oxford English Dictionary, is now part of the Tunbridge Wells ‘political’ vocabulary.
The presence of a derelict cinema and shops in the heart of the town for nearly ten years is a serious embarrassment, but we had reservations about the approved scheme. We were disappointed that in spite of this claim no attempt was made to respond to the rhythm of the fine neo-classical facades of the east side of Mount Pleasant. There is an obvious danger that an inflated valuation will generate proposals for over-development.
The Council maintains the building is costly to run and heat, and not capable of being adapted to modern requirements.
We believe that by the time the proposals of the redevelopment company are known the fate of the Town Hall will have already been sealed. This somewhat makeshift feature is much-loved and was the subject of a campaign to preserve it last year, not just as a structure but as a venue for events and for informal use by the public.
We agreed on this principle with the Council last year, and offered to lead a fund-raising campaign for a bandstand of traditional pattern, but not a replica of the elaborate original – and incidentally only the bandstand not the adjoining pavilion. They have kindly offered to set aside any parts that could be used in a reconstruction, and we are now looking for a site to store the terra cotta facing of the base. At the time of writing we await specific proposals from the coalition, but we note the success of Greg Clark’s campaign to remove private gardens from the category of brownfield land.
The approach steps, suggested by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, add to the appeal of this historic little Grade II monument’.
Funds for the project were provided by The Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Targetfollow group Ltd, AXA PPP healthcare, The Friends of the Commons, and the Civic Society.
Please go along and see for yourself this permanent legacy to the town by the Civic Society. The extension was to the side of the dwelling and had to have an interesting dismissing ridge height as the building was built to be parallel with the properties boundary and not the existing building.
The Trinity Arts Centre stepped in and The Courier lent a van to enable the Society to swing into action again. Our planter which is pictured above is situated beside Barclays Bank and our summer planting was awarded a Commendation in the 'BEST PLANTER' category of the competition . Since then of course the Council has announced its decision to buy the Land Registry, and we have seen the Town Centre Area Action Plan proposals.
The Plan makes no difference between the Town Hall, the Kent and Sussex and the Cinema site. They came to love the town – its style, its setting, its ambience, its history – and were frustrated at the way in which the Town and its Borough Council undervalued, undersold and under-promoted its potential and as a result, did not try to control or direct the development of the Town. In particular, the origination of the Civic Society website was entirely due to him, as were those of other societies and organizations.
The developer was apparently listening to us on possible improvements when the scheme received unexpectedly rapid approval. The cast-iron columns are also thought to be historic but were not part of the bandstand itself.
In the absence of housing targets it is not clear what this will mean in practice, and the Society would deplore any increased pressure on the Green Belt. The monument had fallen into disrepair over time and was hidden by overgrown shrubs but has now been restored and is now visible and easily accessible from the Mount Ephraim road entrance.
All the building materials were purchased to match the existing construction as closely as possible and include the use of reclaimed roofing tiles.Part of the project was vat exempt as it provided disabled facilities. Pictured below is Roger Joye in the roof area of Trinity with the binders after they had been literally manhandled up several flights of stairs, up a ladder and through a narrow loft hatch. The Plan makes no distinction between sites occupied by listed buildings in active use and those that are vacant. Having a single accessible centre open to all will become even more important with the Government’s plans to give more responsibility to community organisations.
Consequently, they both became increasingly active and vocal in Town issues and over the last ten years, their views have played a significant part in the discussion of Town issues. Special thanks are due to Alex Green of Trinity for the storage space, The Courier for arranging the transport, John Cunningham for organising everything and all those members who did the heavy lifting.



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