The Tonbridge Civic Society publishes a full-colour 16-page Newsletter for fully paid-up members three times a year, in Spring, Autumn and Winter editions. [To see a recent example, please go to the Publications page, by clicking on the Publications link in the left-hand column of this page]
The Society strongly supported the original proposals, published by the Highways Agency in January 2010, for the dualling of the A21 along roughly the same route as the existing road.
A Public Inquiry was held in 2013 and the Inspector recommended that the route shown below should be implemented. This was subsequently supported by the Government and construction was completed in 2017.
Colas Site - Vale Road Roundabout
Outline planning permission was given some years ago for this long-derelict but important site. We are pleased to see that development of the site is now in the process of being completed.
SOME OLDER NEWS ITEMS, FOR INTEREST
Civic Design Award 2007 -
Crest Nicholson won a Civic Design Award for the completed first and second phases of their Market Quarter development. The Award recognised the skilful placement of housing within the Conservation Area, the neighbourly qualities of the development and for creating an attractive urban setting with a distinct sense of place.
David Kemp, then President of the Civic Society, presented the plaque to Nicholas Davies, Director of Design & Planning, Crest Nicholson, at the award ceremony held at Somerhill.
Time to Clean up our Act on Litter
The CPRE announced a national campaign some years ago concerning litter. Although the starting point is that people should not drop litter, unfortunately litter does get dropped and the CPRE have campaigned for concerted action by central and local government and other enforcement bodies to clean up litter and fly-tipping. The Tonbridge Civic Society strongly supports their campaign.
Cycleway from Tonbridge Castle to Penshurst Place
The cycleway to Penshurst has become very popular. It is used by all age groups but families with young children find its off-road features especially attractive. The route has been devised and constructed by TMBC's Leisure Services, with a great deal of active encouragement and co-operation by Mr Scott, Estates Manager of Penshurst Place.
There is still a need to create an improved urban network of cycleways in the town - with safe routes to schools.
Civic Design Award for
The Society's annual design award made in 2007, for buildings completed in the year 2006, was for the restoration of Tonbridge Mill. Only the footings and some bare ruins existed when Jon Griffin took on the task of rebuilding the mill and restored to Tonbridge a piece of its history. The mill wheel has been retained; the stream flows under the house to the mill pond at the rear of the building, which can be viewed from Cannon Lane.
Old School in St Stephens Street - demolition threatened
The society objected to the proposed demolition of the old school buildings - erected in memory of John and Sophia Deacon by their sons in 1871. The application to build 11 flats would have dwarfed the exisiting Almshouses seen here to the left.
It is by this kind of characterless development that we gradually lose our town's identity and erode any sense of place - historic buildings have a virtue beyond their sometimes modest architectural merit.
The application was withdrawn.
Tonbridge Market Quarter (Third Phase)
In their proposal, Crest Nicholson's amendment to the third phase included a change of use from office development of the Capitol site to residential use - with retail space on the ground floor. This was supported by the Society.
Historic Buildings Register
The Society prepared a list of historic buildings which were not 'listed', but were nevertheless important to Tonbridge and the locality. This included items such as horse troughs, telephone boxes, signs and other street furniture.