Hamptons -Tunbridge-Wells: Relocation & Renovation Guide

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Relocate & Renovate Design & build, Schools, Eating out, Health clubs, Shopping & more.

A very warm welcome to Tunbridge-Wells and the surrounding areas from all of us at Hamptons.

You will be moving into one of the most highly regarded Towns in England. Desirable homes, tree lined avenues, diverse shops and restaurants and an eclectic, vibrant population.

Hamptons has been matching people with property that’s right for them, locally, nationally and internationally, since 1869. We were pioneers, setting standards that few of our rivals could match. And this hasn’t changed since.

Today, 150 years after we first set up home in Pall Mall, with 15 decades of finding property and looking after people under our belt, our clients now consider us to be their ‘home experts’. Your sincerely,

Andrew Farmer-Director, Sales. Emma Johnson-Associate Director, Lettings.


Kitchens since 1892

About Tunbridge Wells p.7

Poggenpohl p.12

Interview: Bryony Smith p.14 Local Pubs p.16 Artisan Cafés p.18 Interview: Beth Barker p.20

Live Music p.22 Family Fun p.24 Schools p.26 Boutiques p.28 Town Map p.30

Interview: SGS Interiors p.32

Tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells | TN2 5TE 240745 | tunbridgewells@poggenpohl.com www.tunbridgewells.poggenpohl.com

sensible space. +SEGMENTO Y
5 Interview: Karenna Wilford p.34 Interview: lumière p.36 Interview: Linden Paul Interview p.40 Interview: Southstudio Architects p.42 Interview: Grosvenor Removals p.44 Health & Fitness Clubs p.46 Social Groups p.50 Council Contacts p.52 Building Control p.54 Contents
Read the full interview here


Hamptons offers you a warm welcome to the charming and picturesque town of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Congratulations, if you are house hunting in West Hampstead you have already won. A home in this great area with all it offers, automatically makes you the envy of many. Now in order to make your transition as smooth and hassle free as possible Hamptons have put together this great guide which will help you choose the best schools, learn a little about planning and building control, read tips on where to shop, eat and lot’s more, all packed into one little guide with clickable links. Perhaps most importantly we have researched some of the leading local professionals and experts who can help you add value and personalise your soon to be new home. A big WELCOME and enjoy.



Ever since the discovery of the Chalybeate Spring in 1606, Royal Tunbridge Wells has grown in size and popularity due both to its equidistance between London the south coast and for its elegant Pantiles shopping parade, green spaces and stunning Regency architecture.

The natural spring was said to have medicinal properties due to the high iron concentrations within the water, subsequently making it a hot-spot for the gentry and nobility. Famous visitors include Queen Victoria, Margaret, the widow of Viscount Purbeck, Charles II and Queen Henrietta Maria and various members of fashionable society who needed accommodation and wanted places of entertainment.


Featured in The Sunday Times 2019 in its list of best places to live, Tunbridge Wells rated highly based on employment, schools, culture, community spirit and shops.


In 2019 The Sunday Times featured Tunbridge Wells highly in its list of best places to live, the list which considered a range of factors, from employment, schools, broadband, culture, community spirit and shops.

Beyond the town itself, the surrounding area has some of Kent’s most picturesque countryside. Head out and explore part of the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk. The adventurer’s playground of Bewl Water and Ashdown Forest, aka Winnie-thePooh’s Hundred Acre Wood.

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cosy pubs where you can kick back with a pint of local ale, but if craft beer is more your bag, try Fuggles Beer Café. It offers more than 120 different European beers – as well as a gin and whisky selection that’s hard to beat.


For those still undecided about moving here another reason this area has appealed to so many for so long is an abundance of high performing schools, many rated Excellent by Ofsted, stunning public parks, and low local crimes rates. Head into town and take advantage of the abundance of independent shops and restaurants. Culture vultures can feed off the local theatres, live music venues and festivals, more about these within. Did we mention the fabulous housing stock? Contact Hamptons, we’re waiting for your call.

Live close to stunning public parks, enjoy the profusion of high performing schools and town centre’s vast choice of independent shops and restaurants. And let’s not forget live music venues, theatres and festivals.


Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area has been a home to rockstars, celebrities, athletes, academics, artists and common or garden members of the upper-crust for generations. Here are a few notable names you may or may not know..

Jeff Beck (1944– ), musician Jo Brand (1957– ), comedian David Gower (1957– ), cricketer Sarah Grand (1854–1943), suffragist and “New Woman” writer Dame Kelly Holmes (1970 -) Double Gold medal winning Olympic Athlete and Middle-Distance Runner. Danny La Rue (1927–2009), entertainer Enid Lakeman (1903–1995), political reformer Richard (Beau) Nash (1674–1762), celebrated dandy and leader of fashion Tim Page (1944– ), photojournalist Sir David Lionel Salomons (1851–1925), scientist Sarah Sands (1961– ), journalist Henry Albert Seymour (1861–1938), secularist, anarchist and gramophone pioneer William Temple (1833–1919), recipient of the Victoria Cross Sid Vicious (1957–1979), musician Virginia Wade (1945– ), tennis player Frank Weare (1896–1971), World War I flying ace

12 Poggenpohl Tunbridge Wells 39-41 The Pantiles | Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TE phone 01892 240745 tunbridgewells@poggenpohl.com www.tunbridgewells.poggenpohl.com

Local pubs

“Wine comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye; That's all we shall know for truth.

Before we grow old and die. I lift the glass to my mouth, I look at you, and I sigh.”

(A Drinking Song, William Butler Yeats. 1939)

Shouldyou wish to wet your whistle in Tunbridge Wells you could hardly have a wider choice, sports pubs, live music venues, gastropubs, country inns and tavern they all abide aplenty in Tunbridge Wells. Here are a few suggestions but the best way to find your ‘local’ is surely to take the air and simply explore.


The Bedford 2 High St

Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1 UX Tel: 01892 578538 www.thebedfordtw.co.uk

Laid-back pub offering cask ales and a diverse gin list, plus live music and a weekend speakeasy.

The Beau Nash Mount Ephraim

Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8AU Tel: 01892 539350 www.beau-nash.co.uk

Found at the top of Mount Epraim, just a short walk from the centre of town, The Beau Nash is the height of hospitality in Tunbridge Wells.

The Grey Lady 70-72 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TW Tel: 01892 544700 www.thegreylady.co.uk

The Grey Lady music lounge is situated in Tunbridge Wells on the Pantiles. With a selection of pasta, rice, pizza, salad, fish and meat dishes, and music from around the world – from blues and jazz to soul and Latin – there really is something for everyone.

The Duke of York 17 The Pantiles

Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TD Tel: 01892 517619 www.dukeofyorktunbridgewells.co.uk

Music-orientated venue for live acts across all genres and serving Italian food and cocktails.

The Great House Hawkhurst Gill’s Green, Hawkhurst Cranbrook TN18 5EJ Tel: 01580 753119 www.elitepubs.com

Traditional country pub with exposed beams, log fires and new orangery, serving homely British food.

The Vineyard.

The Down

Lamberhurst TN3 8EU Tel: 01892 890222 www.elitepubs.com/the-vineyard

The Vineyard Lamberhurst is set next to Lamberhurt’s vineyards, looking onto the pretty Kent countryside. This charming inn features a restaurant, rooms with terraces and lovely gardens.

The New Mount

The Common

Tunbridge Wells TN4 8BX Tel: 01892 618854 www.themountedgcumbe.com Nestled in its own secluded gardens, the ‘New’ Mount Edgcumbe commands an elevated view of Tunbridge Wells Common. Overflowing with warmth and charm, this Georgian gem offers unique lounges, seasonal British dining, local ales, exclusive wines and an atmosphere that, whatever the occasion, is the perfect place to eat, drink, relax and enjoy.

The Ragged Trousers

44 The Pantiles

Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TN Tel: 01892 542715 www.theragged.co.uk Combines the best of the British pub and the French Bistro offering casual drinking and dining in the Pantiles – the historic heart of Tunbridge Wells.


39 Mount Ephraim

Tunbridge Wells TN4 8AA Tel: 01892 511422 www.sankeys.co.uk

The Barn

1 Lonsdale Gardens

Mount Pleasant Rd

Tunbridge Wells TN1 1NU Tel: 01892 510424 www.barn-pub-rest.co.uk Informal pub environment with green, flower-strewn patio, homely conservatory and matured steaks.


Artisan cafés

Enjoy an artisan coffee, local homemade cakes and even “a slice of Italy” right in the heart of Tunbridge Wells.


If you’re a "Proper" coffee, tea or hot chocolate fan, Langton Pavillion Café is the go-to place. Serving soft drinks and juices for children, it is a well known fact that kids love it.

Enjoy yummy homemade cakes any time of the day. Breakfast and Lunch Menus include children's options, as well as vegetarian and Gluten Free choices. A perfect café for the whole family.

Winstone Scott Ave, Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells TN3 0JJ Phone: 07990 573917 www.langtonpavillion.com



Amazing breakfasts, cakes, coffee, vegan and veggie plates in stylish but unpretentious surroundings.

54 High Street, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN1 1XF Phone: 01892 522931 www.julietsandmore.com


Casa Da Claudia is a unique, rustic café, just off the high street in Tunbridge Wells. Serving breakfast, brunches and lunches, to beautiful cakes and pastries.

5 Castle Street, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN1 1XJ England 01892 533988 www.casadaclaudia.co.uk


“A Slice of Italy” Gusta is situated in the heart of Tunbridge Wells but Napoli is at its’ heart and soul. From the well-known Prosciutto Crudo di Parma and Buffalo mozzarella to the less well known Guanciale and Asiago, they offer a handpicked selection of the finest Italian delicatessen products.

49 Camden Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN1 2QE England Phone: 07463 571525 www.gustacafe.co.uk


The Bicycle Bakery is an independent, artisan bakery that creates traditional, delicious sourdough bread. We believe in things being done properly, using a mix of traditional and modern techniques to create beautiful and exquisite patisserie and breads. 118-120 Camden Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2QZ www.bicycle-bakery.com

Also try:

Interview with Tunbridge Wells designer Beth Barker

Why should people appoint an interior designer?

Creating homes for families and couples is a personal thing. A good designer will take time to carefully understand your family’s wants and needs.

By delegating interiors projects to the hands of interiors experts you can get on with your day job – or just life – which is most likely busy enough already.

Bringing in the experience, knowledge and carefully thought through design of an interior’s expert from the beginning will see you avoid expensive mistakes and missed opportunities which can often take so much time to rectify or that may never allow the potential of your space to be fulfilled. With an interior expert onboard, you can build on your ideas and just get it done.

What type of projects get you most excited?

I love all aspects of design be it creating one single room to a full renovation and refurbishment. Translating a property for a client is always exciting and it is lovely to see their faces as they hear fresh ideas and become open to a completely different perspective of what can be achieved. I have worked in architectural interior design for over twety years, as a designer and project manager, I am told my enthusiasm is highly contagious! In that time, I have co-ordinated a wide range of developments, including hotels, show homes and listed buildings.

What do you think sets you apart from many designers in the area?

My experience in working with every type of property both residential and commercial, my practical building knowledge plus experience both in design and project management, allows me to work easily with architects and planners. In addition, my own long standing trade teams bring assurance of excellence to my clients in all areas.

My expertise sits quietly with my ability to listen, suggest and cohesively bring people together in their buildings even if they have quite different tastes. I spend a great deal of time in the beginning of the process asking the right questions which enable me to gather everything a client may have thought about, any sparks of ideas they may have, any differences in taste a couple might reveal. This enables me to put designs together which encompass everything in a way that perhaps the client alone wouldn’t be able to do.

In developing a style for a client’s property who takes the lead?

I believe you shouldn’t be able to walk into a room and know which interior designer worked on the project. ‘I always say, it’s not about me – it’s about YOUR character and tastes.’

I pride myself on interpreting clients tastes and needs for the building they are in. Each project will be original and much of the time a client may not know exactly what they want. I am there to take the lead to bring the project to life.

Often time constraints are a big factor for my clients in trying to fulfil a property’s potential. This is where I can take the reins throughout the process from conception to completion, enabling a far less stressful project for them. My professionalism, enthusiasm and sensitivity ensure my clients are always in safe hands.


Live music


The Forum’ Live Music Venue

The Forum is an independent music venue in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, with a standing capacity of 250. The venue opened in 1993, the building having previously been a public toilet. The Common, London Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN4 8YU www.twforum.co.uk

The Grey Lady Music-orientated venue for live acts across all genres and serving Italian food and cocktails.

70-72 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TW 01892 544700 www.thegreylady.co.uk

The Bedford Laid-back pub offering cask ales & a diverse gin list, plus live music and a weekend speakeasy.

2 High St, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1UX www.thebedfordtw.co.uk

Assembly Hall Theatre

The Assembly Hall is a theatre in Tunbridge Wells seating 1,020 people. The theatre hosts a variety of popular music, comedy, family, dance, drama, classical music and variety events, as well as an annual pantomime. Crescent Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LU www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

The Royal Oak Situated just a stone’s throw from the centre of Tunbridge Wells, The Royal Oak is an historic pub with a proud tradition of live music and great beer. 92 Prospect Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN2 4SY www.theroyaloaktw.co.uk

Delve into Tunbridge Well’s thriving live music to discover laid back jazz sessions, open mic nights, quirky folk acts and hysterical comedy shows featuring top stand-ups. Spend an evening with a cocktail in hand whilst listening to live music in one of Kent’s many restaurants, pubs and bars.


Days out with kids

We’ve rounded up the best indoor and soft play areas in and around Royal Tunbridge Wells in our quest to discover brilliant family attractions and places to visit near you.

Go Ape Bedgebury

Bedgebury Road, Goudhurst, Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 2SJ Tel. 01603 895500

Wear M Out Play Centre

Unit 6a Sovereign Way, Botany Trading Estate, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1RS Tel. 01732 353773

Manic Monsters Little Browns Lane, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 6LH Tel. 01732 866115

Godstone Farm Tilburstow Hill Road, Godstone, Surrey, RH9 8LX Tel. 01883 742546

Little Street 40 Royal Star Arcade, High Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1JL Tel. 01622 296868

Polar Adventure and Pool Maidstone Leisure Centre, Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 7RN Tel. 01622 220228

Urban Jump Ghyll Road Industrial Estate, Heathfield, East Sussex, TN21 8AW Tel. 01435 863277

Gymboree Play & Music Sevenoaks 18 London Road, Dunton Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2UE Tel. 07827 910978

Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre St Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 9TX Tel. 01892 540744


Schools &nurseries

Whereour children spend most of their weekdays and how they are being educated is a decision which should take some serious consideration. We have put together this list to make your life a little bit easier. All local schools and nurseries offer free tour so please go and visit your choice options before making that final important decision.


Bennett Memorial Diocesan School

An all ability co-educational academy in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, which caters for students from age 11 to 18.

Culverden Down, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9SH

Tel: 01892 521595 https://www.bennettmemorial.co.uk

Claremont Primary School

Banner Farm Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5EB Tel: 01892 531395 https://www.claremont.kent.sch.uk

Goudhurst and Kilndown Church of England Primary School

6 Beaman Cl, Goudhurst, Cranbrook TN17 1DZ Tel: 01580 211365


Langton Green Primary School

Lampington Row, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 0JG Tel: 01892 862648 https://www.langton-green-school.org

Skinners’ Kent Academy

The Skinners’ Kent Academy is a secondary school with academy status in Royal Tunbridge Wells. The academy is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Tunbridge Wells High School became The Skinners’ Kent Academy in September 2009, when the school became an academy, and independent of local authority control.

Sandown Park, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 4PY Tel: 01892 534377 https://www.skinnerskentacademy.org.uk

Speldhurst Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells TN3 0NP Tel: 01892 863044 https://www.speldhurst.kent.sch.uk

St Gregory’s Catholic School

St Gregory’s Catholic School is an 11–18 mixed, Roman Catholic, secondary school and sixth form with academy status in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. It was established in 1966 and is part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark.

Reynolds Ln, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN4 9XL Tel: 01892 527444 http://www.sgschool.org.uk

St James’ Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

Sandrock Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 3PR Tel. 01892 523006 www.st-james.kent.sch.uk

St Peter’s Church of England Primary School

Windmill St, Tunbridge Wells TN2 4UU Tel. 01892 525727 https://www.st-peters.kent.sch.uk

Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School

Established in 1905, Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School is an all-female selective school. Southfield Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tunbridge Wells TN4 9UJ Tel. 01892 520902 https://www.twggs.kent.sch.uk

Little Birches Nursery & Preschool

Little Birches Nursery & Preschool brings children closer to nature. Our Nursery and Preschool immerses them in a diverse and exciting learning programme, all of which takes place within a beautiful setting, by the most devoted team, and is the reason why Little Birches is special. Village Hall, Winstone Scott Ave, Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells TN3 0JJ Tel. 01892 862943 http://www. littlebirchesnursery.co.uk

Tunbridge Wells Nursery and Montessori Pre-School Situated in a convenient location, The Tunbridge Wells Nursery and Montessori Preschool has been beautifully refurbished and redesigned with young children in mind. These facilities include a fully functional kitchen, tree house mezzanine floor and a Trust Us Package in our Under 2’s room. Silverdale Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN4 9HU Tel. 0330 333 8133 or 01892 540068 https://www.busybeeschildcare.co.uk

Bright Horizons Tunbridge Wells Day Nursery and Preschool

They are rated Outstanding by Ofsted and the nursery has five light and airy rooms where the children can explore and develop in age appropriate rooms and we offer a long standing team. Newcomen Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN4 9PA Tel. 01892 574951 https://www.brighthorizons.co.uk


Independent boutiques

Ourhigh street is dotted with beautifully curated independent boutiques. Here are some of our favourites.


“We invite you into the world of bod & ted; be the first to find out about the latest product launches, new collections we’ve added to our brand mix, as well as musings from the shop floor. We talk you through some of our key pieces for this season and give you a sneak peek at our favourite window displays and visual merchandising.”

70 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1YB, Tel: 01892 526700 https://www.bodandted.co.uk



75-77 High Street

Tunbridge Wells TN1 1XZ Tel: 01892 536 638 https://www.saharalondon.com/locations/tunbridge-wells


Established, upscale childrenswear store stocking designer label apparel, shoes and gifts.

9 High St, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1U https://www.childrensalon.com


By Appointment Only

58 High Street

TN1 1XF Tunbridge Wells Tel +44 1892 281004 https://bath.oska.com


Fashion retailer selling chic, modern casualwear for women; some locations within department stores.

51 High St, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1XU customercare@mintvelvet.co.uk

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Interview with Sophie from SGS Architectural Interiors

Tell us a little about the history of SGS Architectural Interiors?

Established by Sophie in 2010, SGS Design is a dynamic and creative architectural interior design studio based in Tunbridge Wells. We work collaboratively with our clients to interpret their design dreams and develop unique design solutions, representative of their taste and lifestyle. Creating interiors inspired by the architecture of the structure and filled with the personality of the client. Sophie has been practising for over 16 years, she leads all design projects with the support of a passionate team of Interior Architects, Interior Designers, and administrative team, who share her design aesthetic and attention to detail. How would you describe your style?

As a practice SGS Design creates classic rather than fashionable interiors, suited to relaxed family living and entertaining, which improve with time. Inspiration can come from the building itself, the setting or location but equally from the client’s artwork or personal style. Sophie has lived in the UK and Australia and with every home move (and there have been many!), she has adapted her own style to work with the architecture of that property. Her approach is the same with her client’s and every project is an opportunity to create a unique interior.

Talk us through your customer process?

We are client-led with our design approach and establishing a clear understanding of the individual client’s design aspirations and lifestyle is essential. Sophie delights in space planning in pursuit of the perfect interior layouts and this is always our starting point. Her design concepts are unique to every brief but share the same underlying passion for blending materials, texture, and colour.

Essential to good design, is developing an honest and transparent relationship with th client and extended design team on site. SGS Design has developed long-standing relationships with architects and contractors, whilst also building established trade relationships with many FF&E suppliers. This enables us to develop the concept ideas into detailed and co-ordinated design drawings, with supporting specifications for client approval and through to full implementation on site. SGS Design offer the flexibility of a comprehensive interior package for extensions and refurbishment works plus, an FF&E only design service. Every project is approached with a unique outlook and the design service is tailored to the clients’ specific requirements.


Sophie and her team are passionate about interiors and are exposed to many homes through their work and bring that experience and knowledge to every project to help avoid costly mistakes and missed opportunities. Essential to adding value is creating a space which flows, involving a designer early in the project process will ensure the floorplan is maximised. SGS Design will work on detailed design drawings and considered material selection, to ensure a high-quality end finish. As part of the design process, SGS Design will work on layered lighting design to complement the whole home. Careful planning is given to task lighting in areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms, with layered ambient lighting for relaxed open plan kitchen living and spa-style bathing. Simple but considered lighting design, implemented from an early stage in the process will transform any home and add value. What’s your favourite thing about working in and around Tunbridge Wells? Sophie is not a native to Tunbridge Wells but has happily adopted it as home since marrying a local and becoming a parent 21 years ago. Often referred to as ‘Little London’ Sophie like many others left the City and was drawn to the area for the local facilities and beautiful housing stock. One of our projects includes the interior design for the independent local gem, The Beacon. Tunbridge Wells homeowners are a delight to work for as they seem to be confident in their own style and passions, their homes are an extension of their personality and are fully lived in and enjoyed by their families. Our role is to interpret the client’s style and brief but then use our knowledge of suppliers and design experience to refine the client’s vision into something which hopefully exceeds their expectations.

What advice would you give to a client who wants to renovate their property but also add value?
Tel: 01892 574 576 studio@sgsdesign.co.uk

What does the future hold for residential architecture?

What are the most common misconceptions people have regarding using an architect?

I think there is a common belief that Architects can be overbearing, only interested in proposing what they want and not listening to the client’s needs. We believe it is really important to ask our clients the right questions when discussing the brief, in order that we can fully understand what they ultimately want to achieve and how we can ensure changes or additions are made so that the space works for them.

There is also the misconception that Architects are expensive, but the reality is that if a project is well run and overseen by an Architect then money can be saved during the building process. We advise clients on whether their budget will accommodate their desires and give them practical advice on alternatives if needed.

Are there any current trends in the nature of projects you are being commissioned to design?

Every project is different and will depend not only on the type of building or the surrounding land, but predominantly on the client’s needs and how the building needs to be adapted or designed to suit them. The main trend currently is to create a more open plan feel to the ground floor, with a combined kitchen/dining/living space as well as a separate living room. We are rarely asked to plan a formal dining room as most people want a more sociable space that has plenty of light and feels open to the outdoor space. Recently during the Covid crisis, people have been forced to work from home and it appears that this may continue for some time.

An interview with Karenna Wilford, the owner of Karenna Wilford Architects

We are now being asked to include home offices either within the house or as a separate extension as some people like the idea of distinguishing work space from home life.

Are there any types of projects you find the most fulfilling to work on? We are really fortunate in having a variety of experience in both the size and type of projects that we work on. The most fulfilling are when clients are really surprised by an idea we have proposed, are excited by the space and love living in their newly renovated or extended home.

How are design costings usually calculated on residential projects?

The calculations on design costings will first of all depend on whether it is a refurbishment or extension to an existing property or alternatively a new build. We base our fees on the projected building costs or the overall budget the client would like to spend. We always advise having a 10% contingency for unforeseen circumstances, particularly for refurbishment projects.

A project is broken down into different stages, such as design, planning application, building regulations and technical information for the potential builders and then the construction and completion phase. Our fee proposals clearly set out the costs for these stages and clients have the flexibility to decide which stages they would like us to be involved in. We find most clients like the reassurance of knowing that we will oversee the project from the beginning to the end and we make sure they are kept well informed at every stage.

What changes do you think are most likely to reshape profession in the coming years?

People are becoming more aware of environmental issues and wanting to be more sustainable in terms of energy and materials used in the building. There is a move towards installing renewable energy rather than traditional methods of heating. Unfortunately in our climate we still cannot rely fully on solar or PV generated heating, but it is certainly being used effectively for heating hot water. The cost of renewable energy is still very high and the government subsidies have ceased but we are hopeful that new more economic solutions will be developed and Architects need to keep abreast of this technology.

We are very keen to encourage builders to keep a tidy site during the works and also to ensure that as little materials as possible are wasted on site.


Decorative lighting gallery in the heart of Tunbridge Wells offering 3000 lighting products for all areas including bathrooms, kitchens and external spaces. Lighting consultations available in our gallery, in your home and on-site.

37 lumière
“Lighting up the world one little light at a time” Download our App 31 High Street - Royal Tunbridge Wells 01892 320198  shop@lumieredujour.co.uk  www.lumieredujour.co.uk  lumiere_du_jour_uk  @lumieredujouruk

Lighting design for modern living

Melissa Bandtock is the shining beacon behind one of Tunbridge Wells’ most impressive new retail locations lumière. Here she shares her insight into her business and passion. on-site.

Melissa, how would you describe the job of a lighting consultant?

I would describe it as ensuring that the lighting in a client’s home is perfect for them, their home and their use of that space.

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What is the most common error you come across when it comes to lighting a home? Probably using the wrong light bulbs, that can make a huge difference. The other thing I often find is that some homeowners don’t realise the impact of lighting and that lighting is the jewel of the home. Lighting can often be rushed and added as an afterthought which means it does not always actually take into account the use of that space; the need for slightly brighter lighting in a bathroom, dimmer lighting in the snug.

When you go into a client’s house to have a look around and come up with a plan, what is your process to go through?

Each client’s needs are completely different from one another. First I begin by asking the customer how they use the space in question and what look or impact they wish to achieve. I always like to start at the front of the house if I am working on the whole building as a project. In my opinion, the moment you arrive at the house, you should receive the first point of impact. The exterior lighting needs to flow with the internal lighting as you walk through the front door too so that is where I start.

little light at a time”
Royal Tunbridge Wells 320198  www.lumieredujour.co.uk  @lumieredujouruk

If I am only working on an individual room, it is essential I take into account the style of room my clients are aiming for. If it is currently a building site, I may request to see mood boards, or photos to get a feel for the look and vibe they are hoping to achieve. I try to get the client to speak to me as much as possible about how they are going to use that space. Do we need bright lights because the client is going to be putting their makeup on in that room? Are they going to be entertaining after dinner in that space? Are they only going to be watching T.V. in that area? Or working late at a computer in that office? Cooking on the kitchen island below the pendants? These are the types of questions I will be asking customers and then accumulating the answers in my brain whilst I process it all and work through the best lighting options.

How has technology impacted the work that you do not just in terms of low energy bulbs and eco-friendly lighting, but there are all sorts of possibilities out there now, right? That’s very true although I’m more focused on the aesthetic than the technical aspect, but one of the huge changes we are seeing is a shift away from rows and rows of downlighters, not only for reasons of energy efficiency but health too. The recent pandemic is encouraging people to reassess their living and work arrangements and look at the ways in which their home environment is impacting their health. Some clients are actually moving away from the really bright ceiling lights and moving towards the softer floor or wall lighting and incorporating a lot more natural materials like marble and alabaster into their schemes.

What made you start the business in Tunbridge Wells?

Well, first and foremost, I absolutely love lighting. My husband and I have renovated a number of properties together in Tunbridge Wells and this has been our hometown for a decade now. I saw a huge gap in the market, especially on the high street. It is a spot thriving with bathroom shops, kitchen shops and great estate agents like Hamptons, encouraging families to move from London. However, they are all having to send them back into London to buy their lighting after they spend a significant amount of money on their bathrooms, kitchens and homes, in our town. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to set something up in Tunbridge Wells on the high street which would just tie in with every other business in the area and stop customers from having to go back into London to shop for beautiful lighting and get them feeling really inspired by something completely different.

lumière, 31 High Street, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1XL, T: 01892 320198 | W: www.lumieredujour.co.uk


Perfect windows

Increasingly across the UK we are seeing super stylish window shutters offering an alternative to traditional curtains as a way to affect the light, temperature and styling of home. Richard Baker manufacturers and fits so called ‘plantation style shutters’ from his workshop in Westerham. He was keen to tell us about his process and the benefits his product offers homeowners and developers in a recent interview we arranged.

Is there a type of home that you feel best suits your product?

There are many different variations and styles we can do. So they suit all types of properties. We fit shutters in 13th Century farmhouses right up to modern apartments and flats in London. There are many applications and styles that suit most properties. What do you feel that the shutters offer that regular curtains and fabric blinds don’t offer?

Well, I think the first thing is, as you walk up to a house that has shutters fitted in is the kerb appeal. Amongst the substitutes out there, the shutters offer a neatness that drapes and curtains can not compete with. If you are buying or selling a house, you’re probably thinking about changes in the colour scheme, and given that most people tend to opt for neutral colours, the shutters offer versatility, as it can fit in with most colour schemes, but there is also the economic attraction to them, as you don’t need to worry about changing window dressings. It is something that people take into consideration when buying a property. They are also great thermally and acoustically. They help with the heating in the winter, but also with keeping the house cool during summer, because they reflect the sun rays out. They are also very easy to maintain; you don’t need to take them down and dry clean them, all it takes is a dusting now and then. If you suffer from asthma or eczema, the dust is very easy to detect on them, whereas curtains cloak the dust and you can’t see it. These benefits also reflect the changes in consumer choices from carpet to hard flooring- the dust is much more detectable and so you’re able to clean it more, rather than it being harboured in the carpets. Are there different choices of materials people can go for?

Absolutely, there are 3 materials we use. We have 2 lightweight hardwoods and we have UPVC poly. The UVPC poly is mainly used for bathrooms, wetrooms and kitchens- essentially rooms with high-moisture content. In terms of the lightweight hardwoods, the most economical one is Paulownia, which is a fast-growing hardwood- which has been certificated by the Forest Stewardship Council as being a sustainable source of wood. It takes just 10 years to mature. It has got a low oil content with a fine grain and is knot-free, which allows it to take paint really well. So the Paulownia is what we generally use for most windows, however if you have large wide panels such as folding patio doors we have a wood called Basswood, which is derived from the Linden tree. These trees take approximately 40 years to mature, so the growing line is tighter together, causing it to be a bit more durable. www.shuttersbylindenpaul.com


Working with an architect

Ever wondered how architects work? And if you are considering working with a professional architect, what kind of questions you need to ask. In this interview with Patrick Bankhead SOUTHSTUDIO ARCHITECTS we answer these questions and more.

When a residential client first makes contact, what are the questions they should be asking an architect? They should be trying to understand what level of experience the architect has with the type of property you have got. Some domestic architects focus on really high-end properties whereas some are much better at dealing with smaller conversions and back extensions. You must make sure you have someone who is in the right area and has the right experience. Ask them if they would be happy to share some references from previous clients. That way, you get to hear the opinion straight from the horse’s mouth and someone who has been through the process of working with that architect, which is vital. If they are not forthcoming about this, that might suggest that they don’t have a track record of keeping their clients’ happy. So in summary, ensure that your architect has the experience and an aptitude for the particular project that you’ve got and I would also ask, who it is that you will be typically dealing with throughout the project? Maybe, in a bigger firm, there is a kind of ‘strong figure’ in charge and that person might disappear off into the shadows quite quickly, so it is important to make sure you have someone with experience who is holding your hand all the way through.

Does the personality of the client have a bearing on your process?

Yes, very much so. I think that the best clients are engaged clients. That means that they have a clear idea of what they are trying to achieve, but they don’t necessarily have a picture of what that looks like. And in fact, I do know that they don’t have a clear picture of what that looks like because that is why they come to us, to provide that creative leap of imagination. The relationship and chemistry between the architect and the client is vital, and if it’s not there, it probably won’t be a great project.


It might not go wrong but it may be a bit flat in terms of the result. So, first of all, we meet the client or speak to each other over the phone, which is the first opportunity to sound each other out, and sometimes it’s clear even at that point that it’s not the right relationship and so we wouldn’t go any further. We would also then propose having an initial concept-design stage, which is paid for fixed fee, and that allows the client to have a period where they are engaging directly with the architect, they are getting initial designs and if they feel that by the end of that period, it has not really clicked, then they can move on. Essentially, there is no commitment on day one for the entire project.

When do you feel the position of UK architects is at the moment in contemporary Britain, compared to Northern Europe?

At the domestic level, I think that the UK is slightly different because we, for whatever reason, seem to look to the past much more than other countries, and so the value of contemporary architecture, sure people appreciate it, but I don’t think it is put on the same pedestal that it might be in other countries. I don’t think it is a bad thing that we look to the past, perhaps more than other countries, but it means that the role is slightly different. And so a lot of what we do is perhaps less seen than dramatic, high-quality contemporary architecture. And, I would also say that we have had European clients and the professionals respect that the view of architecture is very different in terms of how your opinion is managed; and I think actually, that it’s a sort of key thing which is trusting the decisions you make as a client to employ an experienced professional. You look at someone’s track record, you interview them, you talk to their previous clients and you make a decision. But then, I think that some people get cold-feet at certain stages and they should trust their decision a little bit more. You know, you wouldn’t tell your dentist how to pull your teeth out. And I must say, our best client relationships have come about where the client has trusted us, and every project has its tricky moments but that trust, of course we have to earn it, but that trust can often save the day.

What words of encouragement would you give to a homeowner or a developer who is hesitating on making that first call to an architect? First of all, don’t be scared, there is nothing to lose by having the initial conversations and getting people around. Most people wouldn’t consider charging, and I don’t think you should pay someone just to come around and do a consultation. You might even get some initial conceptual sketches, just to give you an idea of what the architect has in mind, or certainly there would be a conversation which helps you see where the project will go. I would also say as words of encouragement that, particularly in the last 6 months, people have been forced to engage much more with their living spaces and understand the value of what those living spaces can bring to them, if they are wellthought-out, in terms of being uplifting, inspiring places to be. So, what a good architect brings in terms of a transformation of your project, rather than just phoning up a builder, is quite significant, and it will be the best decision you’ll ever make.

Southstudio Architects, T: 01892 337 216 | W: www.southstudioarchitects.com


A helping hand is on its way

Dan Fuller is a man on the move, as the founder of Grosvenor Removals he lets us in on his world helping people (and all their worldly goods) from point A to point B.

How do you tackle a house move? Is it top rooms first then downstairs or do you have your own method?

It’s a cliché to say it but it’s like a giant game of Tetris. You identify the perfect item to fit the previous one and look carefully around the house. You can’t just clear one room at a time or move heavy items first or you’ll have big problems, there’s a real art to the job.

That makes sense, so it’s not one room at a time?

No you can’t do that. A lot of firms do end up doing that particularly if they’ve a training person on the side but it doesn’t work, you have to pick a specific piece for the next run. You’ll end up with gaps so you have to search the house to find that bit. It’s important that the load is tight, you can’t have any gaps when it’s travelling. The way for items to travel well is to ensure nothing is moving in the back - from one side to the other it must be perfectly fitted together from the top to the bottom. If nothing moves, nothing can break.

Talk us through your process from getting that first enquiry?

Well, first of all, I will receive a telephone call and arrange to do a home visit. I never, ever do quotes over the phone. People try to make you do it all the time because they’re too busy, but you can’t see what they’ve got. Also, you can explain to people when you’re going around to quote that they will have to empty a chest of drawers, because we carry them whole; if you see a very fragile piece you can explain to them how it will be packed. A lot of people are worried around big pictures - basically they are wrapped in the lorry and they go behind mattresses.

Essentially, you are comforting them as you are explaining how you do it when you go around to give a quote. It is telling them the process as well, they often like to pack it themselves - well how do we pack clothes? I tell them you don’t. If it’s on the hanger we say we’ve got plastic wardrobes and we hang them on the day, and we do it all for you.

How do you convince your clients to book

the move?

I don’t do follow-up calls. I’m old fashioned. A lot of people do follow up calls asking who they’re using, I hate it when people do it to me. So, once I send the quote through by email it’s up to the customer to contact me. They usually say ‘yes, we would like to go ahead’.

What’s your relationship like with the clients you work with?

If we move someone once, we move them again. 100%. They’ve got quite a lot of banter because my staff have done this for so many years. Their work is just second nature to them which I find relaxes our customers. That first hour is the most important part, I’ve done all the admin side but when they see us walk in and take note of our proficiency, and we don’t ask too many questions, customers soon come around and by the end of the day they say ‘you must come back for a cup of tea when you’re around’. That’s why we all love what we do, different places everyday, different people everyday.

So, you have a tight knit team at the firm?

All our staff are paid above industry standards, which is one of the reasons why many of our employees have been with us for 7, 15 or even 20 years. Once they start they stay - which is also why we’re considered so trustworthy.

EXPERT INTERVIEW Dan Fuller, Grosvenor Removals T: 01892 685741| E: grosvenorremovals@gmail.com

Fitness & health

Leadinga hectic life? Need somewhere to tone your body or just simply have a relaxing massage? We have put together the best locations for you to do just that. Whether you fancy going for a swim or need regular fitness classes, we know that our recommended providers will do their best to keep you in shape.


Audley Club at Willicombe Park

Spa and health club · Willicombe Park Tel: 01892 278232 www.audleyvillages.co.uk/health-clubs

Isenhurst Health Club (Crowborough) Fitness centre · Brooklands Pk, Farningham Rd Open until 22:00  Tel: 01892 661777 www.isenhurst.co.uk

Nuffield Health Tunbridge Wells Fitness & Wellbeing Gym Gym · Knighspark Leisure Park, Off Knights Way, Longfield Rd Open until 22:00  Tel: 01892 774000 www.nuffieldhealth.com/gyms/tunbridge-wells

Halo Gym Gym · Rock Villa Rd Open until 21:30  Tel: 01892 548700 www.halogym.co.uk

Natural Fit Calverley Road  Tunbridge Wells  Kent  TN1 2UZ  www.naturalfit.co.uk/tunbridge-wells#top

Rusthall & Tunbridge Wells Amateur Boxing Club Gym · 37 Grange Rd Tel: 07876 692890


Royal Tunbridge Wells Fencing Club

Fencing school · Royal Tunbridge Wells Fencing Club, St. John’s Road Tel:· 01892 543738 www.rtwfencingclub.com

Bob Prowse Health Club Ltd Gym · Armstrong Hall, Armstrong Rd Closing at 17:00  Tel: 01622 683388 www.bobprowse.co.uk

Keisen Judo Club Ashurst Wood Primary School School Ln, Ashurstwood East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 3QW www.keisen.co.uk

Isenhurst Health Club Fitness centre · Bell Ln Open until 22:00 Tel: 01825 749496 www.isenhurst.co.uk

Spirit Health Club Fitness centre  Open until 22:00 Tel: 01732 781192 www.spirithealthclubs.co.uk

Weald Of Kent Gymnastics Club

Gymnastics academy · Weald Sports Hall, Tudelay Lane Open until 21:00  Tel: 07938 495885 www.wealdgymclub.org


PureGym Tunbridge Wells Gym · Market Square Royal Victoria Place Open until 22:00 Tel:  0345 013 3446 www.puregym.com/gyms/tunbridge-wells

The Village Health Club Fitness centre · Weston Dr Temporarily closed  Tel:01883 343777 www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/centres/the-village/

Tonbridge Judo Club Gym  Open until 18:00 www.tonbridgejudo.co.uk

BodyMission at Capel Gym Fitness centre · Orchard Brook, Five Oak Green Rd Open until 20:00 Tel: 01892 837616 www.capelgym.co.uk

Nizels Golf & Country Club Fitness centre · Nizels Golf & Country Club, Nizels Ln Open until 21:00 Tel: 01732 833833 www.nizelsgolfandcountryclub.com

PureGym Tonbridge Gym · 2-12 Avebury Ave Open until 22:00 Tel: 0344 477 0005 www.puregym.com/gyms/tonbridge

Snap Fitness Tonbridge Gym · 8, TON 100 Park, 2-8 Morley Rd Tel: 01732 353767 www.snapfitness.com/uk/gyms/tonbridge/


Social media groups

Tunbridge Wells Photography on Facebook

This group is for any friends or resident’s past or present to share old photos of Tunbridge Wells, UK, and surrounding villages plus interesting newer photos which jog the memory or provide a reminder of the town’s history.

• www.facebook.com/groups/twphotos

Tunbridge Wells Original Facebook Group

THE original Facebook group for Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK established in 2008 • www.facebook.com/groups/233345973470222


Buy & Sell in Tunbridge Wells on Facebook

Buy, sell and swap anything and everything locally.

• www.facebook.com/groups/thingsforsaleintunbridgewells

Jobs in and around Tunbridge Wells on Facebook

Jobs in and around Tunbridge Wells.

• www.facebook.com/groups/jobsinandaroundtunbridgewells

KentOnline on Facebook

Local and regional news stories.

• www.facebook.com/KentOnline

Travel, Lifestyle and Parenting on Instagram

Tunbridge Wells Family Life and Events

• www.instagram.com/mytunbridgewells/

Official Tunbridge Wells on Instagram

Travel, Lifestyle and Parenting

Tunbridge Wells Family Life and Events

• www.instagram.com/official_tunbridge_wells


Council contacts

When you need an advice or help, we have put together the most important contacts for you to have at hand.


Planning Committee

Councillor Barry Noakes (Chairman) Church House High Street Goudhurst TN17 1AJ 01580 211427  Barry.Noakes@TunbridgeWells.gov.uk

Councillor Godfrey Bland (Vice-Chairman) White Gables Rye Road Sandhurst TN18 5PG 01580 755858  Godfrey.Bland@TunbridgeWells.gov.uk

Councillor Christian Atwood 31 Brook Road Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 3AH 07702 386483


Councillor Bob Backhouse 7 St. Philip’s Court Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 3SW 01892 543758  07952 650669


Councillor Mrs Barbara Cobbold 41 Showfields Road Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 5PN 01892 536194


Councillor Sarah Hamilton Woodhurst 18 Old Kent Road Paddock Wood TN12 6JD 01892 835883


Planning Committee

Councillor Joy Podbury c/o The Town Hall Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent TN1 1RS 07528 215462 Joy.Podbury@TunbridgeWells.gov.uk

Councillor Trevor Poile 30 Fernhurst Crescent Southborough TN4 0TB 01892 531108  Trevor.Poile@TunbridgeWells.gov.uk

Councillor Hugo Pound The Coach House 5 Camden Hill Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 4TG 07977 497335


Councillor Mrs Elizabeth Thomas 120 Maidstone Road Paddock Wood TN12 6DY 01892 837756  Elizabeth.Thomas@TunbridgeWells.gov.uk

Councillor Nancy Warne 5 Victoria Cottages Carriers Road Cranbrook TN17 3JP 01580 720765  Nancy.Warne@TunbridgeWells.gov.uk



Making a planning application.

We encourage online planning application submissions via the Planning Portal.

You are able to:

· identify which form you need to complete

· ensure that you have completed the right information

· attach relevant files including drawings and other supporting information

The application process.

Your application will be assessed for validity on receipt.

If an application is made that fails to meet our validation requirements, it will be made invalid. We will make contact in writing to advise you of the information that is required in order to make the application valid.

You will receive an acknowledgement letter when your application has been validated. A site notice will be posted close to or on the boundary of the application site.

If all of the information required to make the application valid is not received within 28 days of a written request we will then dispose of your application. This means that we will keep a digital copy of the documentation submitted and subsequent correspondence, but will dispose of all paper copies of plans and documents submitted unless you have, within the 28 days, confirmed in writing that you will collect the paper copies. We will also deduct a charge of £40 from the planning fee submitted to cover the administrative time spent on assessing the validity of the application, before refunding the balance.

The only exceptional circumstances when we will not dispose of an invalid application after the 28 days are when:

· There has been written correspondence with yourself within the 28 day period and we are confident that the information which is outstanding to make the application valid will be received by us within 5 days;

·The application relates to a proposal for a significant major development (20 dwellings or more, 2,000 m² floor space new build, conversion or outline proposals capable of accommodating either of the above, as the timescales for resolving validation issues for such applications are often more complex and time consuming;



Building Control Contacts

If you are an architect, homeowner or builder then please do not hesitate to contact us for a free pre-application meeting. Either at your offices or at your project address. Our team of professionally qualified and experienced Building Control Surveyors and support staff provide impartial advice and assistance to the public and/or their agents, architects, builders, developers and other professionals. They will examine and comment on plans for building work or development requiring consent and carry out inspections of related work in progress. They ensure that building proposals are designed and carried out in accordance with modern standards set out in the Building Regulations and Approved Documents.

Building Control - New Applications

Tel: 01892 554124 or 01892 554116 bcr@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Building Control - General Enquiries Tel: 01892 554124 or 01892 554116 buildingcontrol@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Building Control - Lead team Glenn Cooper Tel: 01892 554015 glenn.cooper@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Building Control - Control Surveyor Steve Bolton Tel: 01892 554213 steve.bolton@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Building Control - Control Surveyor Dave Wright Tel: 01892 554631 david.wright@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Building Control - Control Surveyor Wayne Martin Tel: 01892 554499 wayne.martin@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Mount Pleasant Road Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent TN1 1RS

SOURCE: https://tunbridgewells.gov.uk/planning/applications/apply



18-20 London Road Tunbridge Wells TN1 1DA www.hamptons.co.uk