The proposals

Hendy Group is proposing a new development which will:

  • Create a new high-quality motor village facility and represent a positive sign of growth and business confidence in Tunbridge Wells
  • Enable us to relocate our existing operations in Tunbridge Wells and create a new Regional Hub in a more suitable location on the edge of town, within immediate reach of the A21 and the wider strategic road network.
  • Secure a significant number of jobs in the borough. The proposal will sustain circa 180 jobs, keeping 130 existing roles and creating 50 new full-time equivalent jobs
  • Ensure the proposed site is visually contained by extensive boundary landscaping. Existing landscaping will be retained, enabling the necessary scale of the multi-format dealership without encroaching on open undeveloped land
  • Improve the current Hendy operations to meet its customers’ requirements and expand the local business
  • The proposals will enable the delivery of both jobs on site and new homes at Mount Ephraim, meeting two key objectives for Tunbridge Wells
  • Deliver new on-site training academy facilities and partnerships with local colleges in the provision of apprenticeship schemes.

Overall Hendy’s proposed development will offer longstanding benefits to Tunbridge Wells with the combination of jobs and the release of a key town centre site for regeneration.

The Motor Village

The proposal is for the development of a motor village, with the site totaling circa 7,875m2 of Gross External Area, comprising:

  • Seven interlinked car showrooms, car display courtyard, used car sales pavilion building, parts storage warehouse (B8 use), accident repair centre (B2 use), valet area, workshop (B2 use), ancillary offices (B1a use) rear service yard, car parking, landscaping and access.

The car dealership is split into two elements: the ‘L’ shaped commercial car showroom building by the site entrance, with the service centre, workshops and parts storage behind.

The site layout is focused around the central circular used car sales area surmounted by a feature fabric tent structure.

The building’s design provides a high quality crisp, sharp and contemporary form. A simple palette of materials and attractive design features ensures the design will complement the setting of the existing and proposed buildings within the site.

Proposals incorporate amendments to the Tesco car park layout together with adaptations to the existing lighting positions and relocation of the existing Tesco car wash, click and collect and recycling facilities.

The open nature of the immediate site will be maintained as views of the proposed buildings from outside of the site will be contained by the existing mature boundary. Further new landscaping is proposed as part of the development. The proposals will therefore have minimal impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in which it sits.

The scheme’s design has evolved with input from an expert team and benefitted from pre-application consultations with the Borough Council’s Planning Department.

Important technical considerations for the site that have informed the proposal include: highways, landscape, trees, ecology, drainage, noise, air quality, energy and sustainability and site investigations. The detailed submission will encompass a wide package of technical studies to support the application.