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Great Culverden

facts

Client
Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

Location
Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

Discipline
Architecture

Sector
Masterplanning

Size
353 residential units, 2400 sqm commercial space

Status
Planning approved

solution

In Tunbridge Wells’ Mount Ephraim area, the Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells closed in 2011 and its services were moved to a new site in nearby Pembury.

With the site earmarked for new housing, tp bennett was invited to provide a masterplan, to assist the local authority and housing developers in this area of high landscape status close to significant local beauty spot, Culverden Park.

The aim of the residential scheme was to provide housing in an area of high demand, and the masterplan was called upon to provide a vision for the area and a sense of place. With a varied context, the practice took views and streetscapes into account, suggesting a mix of housing typologies with a traditional sensibility.

As a major new-build development in Tunbridge Wells, the site is of great local importance. As tp bennett’s Nick Hirst says, “Tunbridge Wells is a sensitive location and this development also involved the issue of transferring land from public ownership into the private sector.” Planning permission was granted in 2012 to redevelop the site for a mix of high-value housing, offices and a school, which the developer Berkeley Group has since named Royal Wells Park.