Friday, 7 December 2012

The old cinema site Royal Tunbridge Wells

I have lost count of the number of times this blog has complained about the lack of progress in redeveloping the former Odeon cinema site in the centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells.  Now the Courier newspaper has commenced a  campaign, the Liberal Democrats have roused themselves from their deep sleep and started campaigning and the Civic Society has joined in.  The local MP has vented his frustration at the lack of progress in redeveloping the site.

All the above parties are urging action, at the very least that the premises are demolished and used as a car park or open space (presumably with seating) until such time as building work can commence.

Past and current Leaders of the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have raised the possibility of compulsory purchase.  The current Leader, councillor Jukes, ( currently the recipient of an ear-bashing for suggesting the Royal Victoria Hall in Southborough should be demolished and replaced by a community centre) has declared that nothing can be done regarding compulsory purchase until the summer of 2013.

The one comfort I take from all this is that those protesting about the lack of progress by the current owners includes the MP and the local press.  It is hoped their protests are heard and acted upon.  Then we might secure progress on redeveloping the civic complex.  Councillor Jukes is on record as stating that consideration of the future of the civic complex will come only after the future use of the Odeon site is determined.

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