Knights are instructed to act for iSmile Dental Practice in the Inquiry into the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (Calverley Square) Compulsory Purchase Order 2018 (the “CPO”) which is currently ongoing at the Mercure Hotel, 8 Tonbridge Road, Pembury, Kent, TN2 4QL. The Inquiry is anticipated to run until Friday 1st March 2019 and the Planning Inspector is currently hearing evidence from the Council and objectors to the CPO.
As a result of the Inquiry, the CPO will either be confirmed (with or without modifications) or rejected by the Planning Inspector. If the CPO is confirmed, then substantive construction work on the Council’s scheme to develop a new civic centre, public square and theatre at the western entrance of Calverley Grounds will follow. This development includes the demolition of the Great Hall car park and the Lodge, in which iSmile Dental Practice is currently based.
On the basis the CPO is confirmed, work is currently scheduled to start in October 2019 and is predicted by the Council to end in January 2022. Councillors current forecasts are that the scheme will cost a total of £90 million and have described it to the Planning Inspector as “…the most significant scheme from a financial perspective to be undertaken by the Council since £100million development of Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre in the 1980’s and will have a lasting impact on the Council’s finances”
Given the considerable scope for disruption the construction has for local businesses and residents in the area and the costs associated with it, the scheme is being hotly resisted by a number of objectors who are affected. The Planning Inspector’s decision on this CPO could undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the face of Royal Tunbridge Wells, it’s businesses and residents. iSmile Dental Practice faces the prospect of closure should it not be able to relocate to alternative premises, leaving Tunbridge Wells with one less dentist for the local community as well as the closure of another local small business.
Details of the Inquiry can be found here: http://persona-pi.com/ and is open for the public to attend between 10am-5pm. If you think you may be affected by this CPO or the wider development, please contact Simon Bell or Busola Oyenekan who are acting for iSmile Dental Practice.