Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to decide on plans for '24-hour support care' facility with 69 apartments

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to decide on plans for '24-hour support care' facility with 69 apartments - a red brick scheme of two and three storey buildings with a big lawn in front
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to decide on plans for '24-hour support care' facility with 69 apartments -Credit:Carless + Adams

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is to decide this week on plans for a retirement complex with 69 flats and a community day centre. The scheme is on a nearly 3.5 acres site at Cornford Court on Cornford Lane in Tunbridge Wells.

Council officers are recommending the plans be approved. Cornford Court, a care home on the site, would be demolished to make way for the new development.

It would provide 24-support and care for the "frail elderly" with a "full range of residential, nursing and dementia care needs including end of life care". As part of securing planning permission, the developer would have to give £68,720 towards community benefits, which are called Section 106 agreements.

These funds would help the NHS locally, libraries, adult education centres, roads and biodiversity. Eleven full-time jobs would be created at the scheme, with a combined salary of £161,075, along with approximately 14 carers and seven live-in carers at any one time.

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The assisted living apartments from Graham Care Group would have a master bedroom with en suite wet room, and a second bedroom for carers to stay if necessary. They would have a family bathroom, a kitchen with dining space, a lounge with access to garden areas or a balcony on upper floors, an alarm call system, an intercom system to a main carer on site 24/7 and on site, a restaurant, gym and hydrotherapy pool.

The site is between the A21 and the boundary of Pembury. Access to the site will be from the existing access from Cornford Lane.

This is an aerial view of the site, you can see the A21 along the bottom of the image and in the centre is the proposed site marked in red, and the existing care home marked in blue, Cornford Park. To the left and right there are fields and trees, at the upper part of the photo there are houses
An aerial view of Pembury Court Integrated Care Apartments - the red line shows the development site, the blue marked site shows the existing care home Cornford Park -Credit:Google Maps

The NHS Primary Care Estates Team gave the following response to the plans in February: "This proposal will generate approximately 69 new patient registrations in general practice based on the dwelling mix provided. The proposed development falls within the current practice boundaries of Waterfield House Surgery, Kingswood Surgery and Woodlands Health Centre.

"The proposal will also increase demand on other healthcare services provided to the local population and will be considered as part of the integrated models of care that will be developed along with the infrastructure strategy for the West Kent Health and Care partnership area."

It requested Section 106 funding towards general practice services, and £24,840 has been pledged. Six objections were made against the plans which included concerns about the scale being larger than previous permission, the proximity to a water pumping station, and loss of light and privacy to Cornford Park homes.

The computer generated image shows three storey, squarish but attractive blocks with large windows and what looks like ivy across most of the front - there are balconies on the second and third floors, cars parked in bays in the front, and trees and lawn to the left and right
New assisted living in Pembury - proposed view north-east towards the main entrance of Pembury Court Integrated Care Apartments -Credit:Carless + Adams

Pembury Parish Council raised concerns including about highways, because it said Cornford Lane was a "fast, dangerous and narrow road with limited pavement". It said the road and junction needed to be improved.

The Highways Section 106 funding of £20,223 would be put towards a corridor study of Pembury Road with a view to relieving congestion. There would be 81 parking spaces, with 10 electric vehicle charging points, and wheelchair bays in two places. There would also be CCTV.

KentLive previously reported permission was granted in 2018 for Cornford Court an "integrated community health centre" with 68 suites. But this is a redesigned scheme.

The plans will be decided at Wednesday's (May 15) planning committee meeting of the borough council. The meeting starts at 6.30pm

Can I view the application?

You can visit the planning application via this link. However, the link can often time out, if so, visit Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's planning portal here - and type in the application's reference in the search bar, which is: 23/03419/FULL

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