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Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) is currently working on the preparation of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Centre Plan. This plan will comprise a long-term strategy (up to 2040) to help create and sustain a more prosperous and sustainable town centre.

The plan will provide a vision, objectives and a planning framework for the future of the town centre.

This is with the aim of allowing it to diversify and adapt to changes, seek sustainable improvements to public spaces and travel and movement, as well as attracting and encouraging investment in high quality and diverse living spaces, working, shopping, learning, leisure and cultural facilities. At the same time, regard will also be had to sustaining and enhancing Royal Tunbridge Wells’ heritage status and historic attributes.

The overall ambition is that the town centre will remain a vibrant, active and attractive place that residents and visitors can enjoy now and in the future.

The Town Centre Plan will be a separate document to the overarching borough-wide Tunbridge Wells Submission Local Plan (October 2021) (SLP) which is currently subject to independent examination. However, it will align with the ambitions set out in the SLP including Policy 'STR/RTW2: Strategy for Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Centre', which sets out the strategy for the Town Centre providing a framework and requiring a vision for the development of the Town Centre Plan (the full policy wording can be viewed on pages 78-82 of the SLP via the link above).

Study area boundary

The area that the Town Centre Plan relates to is shown on the map below (this is based on the boundary defined by Policy STR/RTW 2 in the SLP as referred to above). It is realised that the town centre does extend beyond this boundary and as such, consideration will be given to the wider setting of the town centre in the production of the Town Centre Plan, however only sites that fall within this boundary can be allocated within the plan.

Tunbridge Wells Town Center Plan Boundaries

Early engagement

A series of early engagement events took place in October and November 2022 to discuss the future of the town centre with local people, businesses and other stakeholders. A Town Centre Study and other supporting evidence base documents were subsequently produced in relation to the preparation of the Town Centre Plan. More details about these are available on the council’s Early Engagement webpage.

Current consultation

To assist in the preparation of the Town Centre Plan, the council has completed some initial engagement work (mentioned above) with a range of organisations and residents and produced a strategy we’re calling the ‘Draft Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Centre Plan – Vision 2040’ and the council is seeking views on this. This is the first stage in the process of preparing the Town Centre Plan.

The consultation on the Draft Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Centre Plan – Vision 2040 and its supporting documents runs from Friday 23 February to midnight on Monday 15 April 2024, further details of which can be found on the council’s Consultation on the Draft Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Centre Plan – Vision 2040 webpage.

Call for Sites

A Call for Sites is running alongside the consultation and the council is keen to hear about any sites in Royal Tunbridge Wells town centre which might be available for development or redevelopment up to 2040. Please let us know if you know of or own a site which you would like to be considered through this process. Further details can be found on the council’s Call for Sites webpage.