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Former Thomson Snell & Passmore site in Tunbridge Wells set for development by Longfield firm the Billings Group

Ambitious plans to create a new four-storey office building and residential units, on the site of a law firm's former offices in Tunbridge Wells, have been submitted to planning chiefs.

Landowner and developer the Billings Group, based in Longfield, wants to transform numbers three and five of Lonsdale Gardens - recently vacated by Thomson Snell & Passmore.

Site of the proposed new office block in Tunbridge Wells
Site of the proposed new office block in Tunbridge Wells

If approved, the building could be home to almost 200 employees, as well as 13 residential units, close to the High Street and Mount Pleasant.

The proposed 1,834.3m2 of office space has been designed to be as flexible as possible for either a single occupier or a number of businesses and accessed via Vale Road.

Currently, 3 Lonsdale Gardens in a Victorian villa next to No 5 - a 1980s' office block with large car park.

Law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore recently moved to the adjacent five-story Heathervale House on Vale Road.

Andrew Billings, director at Billings Group, said: “Our proposals build upon our success in delivering a new home for Thomson Snell & Passmore and enable us to create more high-quality offices by repurposing a site that’s no longer suitable for today’s businesses.

Thomson Snell & Passmore's new Tunbridge Wells offices - adjacent to its former site which is now ear-marked for transformation
Thomson Snell & Passmore's new Tunbridge Wells offices - adjacent to its former site which is now ear-marked for transformation

"It also makes it possible to create new sustainable living accommodation in the heart of the town, close to the railway station.

“The new office block, built on the site of the former car park, is slightly larger than the space currently provided in the two Lonsdale Gardens building. The new space will also be of a higher standard than was available in the former buildings with better environmental performance.

“The continued presence of Thomson Snell & Passmore in the town alongside the proposed space for 200 new office workers will have a positive impact on the local economy and support many local businesses thanks to the money staff will spend during their lunchtimes and after work.”

If the planning application is approved it is expected work could begin in spring 2020 with the buildings expected to be completed by the summer of 2021.

Billings Group’s planning advisers are DHA, based in Maidstone, and the proposed building has been designed by MortonScarr Architects, based in Brighton.

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