Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sovereign House Development....

Now Tonbridge blog doesn't normally get too involved in town planning matters, mainly because they are deadly dull, but this one really should be viewed by everyone who cares about the town. There is a planning application in to alter the town centre to the extent that we will barely recognise our own town. If the developers get the go ahead for the new Sovereign House development, this will include a fifteen storey tower block, which, frankly, looks like a sixties council house block just across the stream from the Angel Centre; also around a hundred "affordable houses" by which I think they mean rented out to families who wouldn't be able to afford to buy them, retails units, restaurants and open spaces. Sounds good? I'm not sure to be honest. I'm torn between seeing the need for something major to come to Tonbridge to really kick start the town, so that it becomes a vibrant modern shopping centre; and on the other hand, not wishing to see its quaint medieval market town status eroded. In short, I think that the Borough Council, for they must be the one's who untimately drive and champion this, must get the balance between these two correct. If we end up with another concrete monstrosity like Sainsbury's and the Angel Centre in the middle of the town then it will be an awful shame and a mistake which will be with us for the next forty or fifty years. If they get it right then it could be the best thing that's happened to the town since Andrew Judd, of the Skinners Company, woke up one morning and said "I think I'll spend some of my money and start a school in Tonbridge...." See for yourselves on the council website

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