The decision is a major boost for the Salomons Estate, operated by Markerstudy Leisure, and a vote of confidence in Tunbridge Wells as a visitor destination. Markerstudy is currently redeveloping the former Brew House Hotel, now renamed One Warwick Park, near the Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells.
The application for the new hotel was recommended for approval by the council’s planning officers and passed by the planning committee, with 13 members voting in favour and two abstaining. It will be built on the site of a former Victorian glasshouse and the estate’s kitchen garden. The design of the new building means only one storey will be visible above ground, in keeping with the height and design of the listed Walled Garden.
Two existing 1970s accommodation blocks – which intrude on the Walled Garden and buildings and obstruct views of Salomons House – will be demolished as part of the planning permission.
The new hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2018, with its 56 guest rooms, reception, restaurant and bar areas, will complement the nearby Salomons House’s longstanding role as a venue for private functions and business events. The house itself will continue to be used as a training facility for Markerstudy Group, Canterbury Christ Church University, local businesses and community groups.
Markerstudy Leisure was advised by Tunbridge Wells-based planning consultants Kember Loudon Williams LLP and London-based KTB Architecture.