Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Christmas could be cancelled by Tunbridge Wells councillors

It looks like there’s less than a week left to save Christmas for an ambitious award-winning Kent company.

Tunbridge Wells-based Markerstudy Group faces an uphill battle to secure planning permission for its £2.5m plans to create its ambitious Father Christmas World in the grounds of its Salomon Estate on the edge of the town.

With less than a week before councillors review the application, planning officers have recommended permission be refused on a number of major grounds.

In what could be a damning indictment of the application, planning officers have suggested: “Whilst the proposal will result in benefits to the local economy, and additionally in terms of recreational activity and securing a management plan for Salomons, this is not considered to overcome the harm identified to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, heritage assets, the greenbelt and highways." 

Opposition from residents has focused on the impact of the attraction to the local road network, with it sitting between Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, which are already under significant strain.

Time will tell whether the councillors decide it’s ‘ho, ho, ho’ or ‘bah humbug’.

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