Tenterden Regeneration Project

29th November 2019:  for a copy of the latest Town Hall plans, please click here.

3rd July 2019 Update:  for a copy of the latest designs for the Town Hall re-ordering, please click here.

June 2019 Update:

  • ProjectTown Hall re-ordering
  • Purpose – The public consultation revealed that residents felt that the Town Hall was underused and unwelcoming and only served a small proportion of the public. Greater community facilities were required, and this important historic building was seen as a potential central hub for the town. The current foyer is dark and much of the ground floor is taken up by corridors. There is no disabled access to some areas and others are poorly served. On-going maintenance is expensive, insulation is non-existent, the roof leaks regularly and the heating system is antiquated with no thermostatic control.
  • Process – A small focus group comprising local residents has been formed and architects (Theis & Khan of Tunbridge Wells) selected from a range of candidates to prepare a suggested scheme for review by the focus group.
  • Progress – An revised proposed scheme is awaited from the architects following consultation with heritage specialists. A public exhibition of the designs will be held on 2nd July at 6pm
  • Cost – Indicative only at this stage, but the town council is likely to be asked to pay £750,000 with any extra costs covered by grants which the architects advise should be available
  • Contact – Councillors Dr Lovelidge or Mrs Smith or The Town Hall, 24 High Street, Tenterden – Tel 01580 762271 – Email: townhall@tenterdentowncouncil.gov.uk

Focus Group Update - February 2019

The public consultation revealed that residents felt that the Town Hall was underused and unwelcoming and only served a small proportion of the public. Greater community facilities were required, and this important historic building was seen as a potential central hub for the town. The current foyer is dark and much of the ground floor is taken up by corridors. There is no disabled access to some areas and others are poorly served. On-going maintenance is expensive, insulation is non-existent, the roof leaks regularly and the heating system is antiquated with no thermostatic control.


The Town Hall focus group was tasked with examining the viability of the following options:

  1. Demolish the 1930s extension to the rear of the hall and create a new 3-storey extension.
  2. Demolish the 1930s extension and rebuild within the existing curtilage.
  3. Repair and re-order the hall.


Budgetary constraints ruled out the first two options, which involved considerable costs relating to site access through the underpass between the Woolpack and the Town Hall.


The group has recently produced an architect’s brief in liaison with a local architect/surveyor practice. This practice also ran the tender process and, having no interest in tendering for the work themselves, gave the group sound impartial advice.


Fifteen architects tendered for the work and have been set a budget of £1 million. From these submissions the group shortlisted 5 candidates for interview and will make a final selection for recommendation to council shortly.

3rd October 2018

16th May 2018

5th April 2018

24th January 2018

22nd November 2017

18th October 2017

13th September 2017

9th August 2017

12th July 2017

28th June 2017

Click here for the latest design of the Recreation Ground.

June 2019 Update:

  • ProjectRecreation Ground re-ordering
  • Purpose – The re-ordering and improvement of the recreation ground in Tenterden to provide as wide a range of activities for as wide a range of residents as is practical. Specific facilities to be provided include improved children’s and adults’ play and exercise areas, a skate park with youth hub attached, tennis/netball courts, new footpath network, Kiosk and the retention of the bowls club in its current location.
  • Process – A focus group comprising stakeholders and residents has been formed. Under the guidance of Ground Control (landscape architects), the focus group has decided on the ideal layout of the recreation ground, is now defining the plan in further detail, and will adjust that layout to fit a practical budget .  Smaller workshop groups have been set up for the key areas of the scheme held in order to formalise the design of these areas.
  • Progress – A likely final layout plan is being refined by Ground Control for approval by the focus group and for costing. The project will be handled in two phases. This will enable the council to prioritise the skatepark and youth hub and the new tennis and netball facilities. The second phase will represent an improvement on the existing play facilities and the Oaks Rd end of the recreation ground. The second phase will allow the council to take full advantage of targeted developer contributions due on completion of Tent1a and Tilden Gill.  First small workshop meetings were held in the last two weeks.  The next Focus group meeting is to be held on 10th July 2019.  
  • Cost – Indicative only at this stage, but likely to be between £1.4M and £2.1M with between £750,000 and £1.3M funded by the town council and the balance from developers’ planning agreement contributions and grant/loan money (e.g: from the Lawn Tennis Association). The budget  needs to be increased in order to enable phasing of the works.  The LTA funding is no longer available as the funding scheme  has been abolished.
  • Contact – Councillor(s) Sugden or  Mulholland or The Town Hall, 24 High Street, Tenterden – Tel 01580 762271 – Email: townhall@tenterdentowncouncil.gov.uk

15th May 2019 Updates:

Focus Group Update - February 2019

Over several months the focus group has worked with our landscape architects to arrive at the plans displayed here. The designs match with the original brief we were given following the public consultation, in that they present an open view of the recreation ground from the Oaks Road end. They also address the woeful lack of facilities for older children and young adults and the need for netball courts and better tennis facilities.


Young people have been heavily involved in submitting design ideas for the skatepark and we will ensure that they are again consulted when the design reaches the fine-tuning stage.


In January, we engaged additional professional services to undertake the following tasks:

  1. To compare the relative costings of retaining and re-designing the pavilion to be used as a youth hub and building a smaller kiosk (option 1) and incorporating a youth hub within a larger kiosk building (option 2). An architect was engaged for this purpose.
  2. To provide an independent assessment of pricing for the designs as they stand. A Quantity Surveyor was engaged for this purpose.


These tasks are now nearly complete, and we will provide a further update within the next couple of months.


The Town Council has, for some time, had concerns about the cost of moving the Bowls Club and our budget for all required works in the town is tight. We have therefore called a further meeting of the focus group (which will happen in March) to consider a redesign which leaves the club in situ.


7th November 2018

The latest plans for the Recreation Ground re-ordering were recently displayed at the Town Council's Coffee Morning on 20th October.  To view the two options, please click on the links below.

Landscape Masterplan Option 1 (with Pavilion redesigned)

Landscape Masterplan Option 2 (without Pavilion)


19th March 2018 to 14th May 2018

Update from Ground Control – 26th February 2018

We had a meeting with Ashford Borough Council (ABC) last Friday for the pre-application advice and generally received positive feedback on our Spatial Zoning Plan which we have attached for your information.  Ashford Borough Council will come back to us with their written pre-application advice within two weeks which we will provide you with in due course.

Please note this was a pre-application submission to receive ABC’s initial thoughts on our spatial zoning proposal and understand which aspects of the proposed works would require planning permission.  The attached submitted scheme is an outline spatial zoning plan and will be amended and developed to suit with ABC’s and focus group’s feedback and comments prior to formal planning application.

Click here for the spatial plan.

17th April 2018

17th November 2017 to 14th February 2018

15th November 2017

Progress Report and Presentation 

Please note that the Focus Group suggested amendments to the plans contained in this presentation.

11th October 2017


A copy of the Full Building Feasibility Study of the Pebbles can be found here: Full Building Feasibility Study

6th May 2020

9th April 2020

18th December 2019 - Click here for a progress update from the Cinema Focus Group.

23rd January 2020 Meeting

21st November 2019 Meeting

20th August 2019 Meeting

June 2019 Update:

  • ProjectA cinema for Tenterden
  • Purpose – The promotion of a commercial-run cinema for Tenterden. The Town Council will retain the freehold of the Pebbles and Millennium Gardens and will receive a share of profits. The building was kindly bequeathed to the town for the benefit of residents and visitors and the Town Council is keen to comply with the terms of the bequest.
  • Process – An enthusiastic focus group comprising local residents has been formed to investigate (with appropriate expert help) the feasibility of establishing a commercial cinema in Tenterden, securing the premises (currently The Pebbles building at 55 High Street, which is owned by the town council) and entering into an operator’s agreement with a suitable operator to adapt and fit out the building and run the cinema operation.
  • Progress – The financial/commercial viability of a cinema in Tenterden has been established. A Historic England assessment of the building itself revealed concerns over the fabric of the wooden structure. The architect has since produced alternative plans which address those concerns and the next phase will be to confirm the viability within that specific location and involve the prospective cinema providers. Once this stage has been reached, the project will come under the control of a dedicated company which will sublet the building to the operators. The latest plans involve accommodation of the auditoria within the Millennium Gardens by clever design using planting and green rooves has allowed an ecological gain as well as the increased public amenity. The Neighbourhood Plan Green Spaces Group has been consulted on the plans.
  • Cost – The town council has been asked to contribute a total of £500,000. The current state of the building would have necessitated this expenditure whatever the eventual purpose.
  • Contact – Councillors Carter and Mrs Ferguson or The Town Hall, 24 High Street, Tenterden – Tel 01580 762271 – Email: townhall@tenterdentowncouncil.gov.uk

4th June 2019

14th March 2019

8th February 2019 - A Message from Tenterden Cinema Focus Group: the project enters an exciting new phase

Contrary to rumour, the project is far from dead—quite the opposite, in fact. Tenterden Town Council has commissioned architects Burrell Foley Fischer  (https://bff-architects.com) to prepare a pre-application to Ashford Borough Council for the development of the Pebbles Building at 55 High Street as a two-screen digital cinema with a café bar. 

Burrell Foley Fischer are widely acknowledged as leaders in cinema design and pioneers of a new breed of urban cinema. If you have ever visited the stunning Depot Cinema in Lewes, the Kino in Hawkhurst, the Rio in Dalston or the Newlyn Filmhouse (to name just a few) you will have experienced their work. The Newlyn Filmhouse—also a two-screen cinema with a cafe bar—featured recently in the Guardian Readers top 10 independent cinemas, along with Depot Lewes and Campbeltown Picture House Their cinema designs have won too many awards to list (have a look at the website) - including the 2018 Scottish Heritage ‘Best rescue of a historic building’ award for the Campbeltown Picture House, and the 2018 National LABC Best Public Service Building Award for the Depot. The Campbeltown Picture House is now on the shortlist for the RIBA’s 2019 MacEwen Award. 

The pre-application will clarify any issues that might affect a full planning application. As part of this exercise, Burrell Foley Fischer is preparing a heritage impact assessment and consulting Historic England for guidance about Listed Building Consent for the  conversion of this Grade II building. They are hugely experienced in converting listed buildings, notably turning a Grade I listed structure into the Norwich Cinema City. Burrell Foley Fischer are looking at ways of reducing the impact of the conversion on the historic fabric of the Pebbles Building, and how to make an attractive connections between a foyer and café-bar on the ground floor of the Pebbles Building and the Memorial Garden behind.

We couldn’t be in better professional hands—and the Focus Group is confident that our architects will come up with a scheme that will not only enhance the building and secure its use for future generations as a stunning event destination. 

We expect the pre-application to go in to Ashford Borough Council this month and, when we get their feedback, to move forward to a full Building Feasibility Study, which will result in detailed surveys, design studies, costings and a Business Plan.

A list of FAQs regarding the Cinema can be found here.

Watch this space for more news.....

29th January 2019

30th October 2018

11th October 2018

30th August 2018

22nd February 2018

16th November 2017

24th October 2017

21st September 2017

1st August 2017

June 2019 Update:

  • ProjectA virtual hub
  • Purpose – To provide a single information point, online, for as many of the hireable spaces in Tenterden and St Michaels as want to take part, so potential hirers can select the one most suitable for their needs
  • Process – Representatives of various halls and other venues were invited to form a focus group to decide how best to implement the project. The decision was made that, initially, there should be limited information on the virtual hub, which would be hosted on the town council’s website, to see how useful the hub proved to be and whether it should be expanded in scope. The initial information would include the locations of each space, broad details of the accommodation available and contact details so prospective hirers could seek further details of spaces that interested them and book a venue once selected
  • Progress – The hub is now available for use on our web site. Click the hireable spaces option on the top navigation bar. Please let us know if you spot anything amiss.
  • Cost - £880.00, which has been funded by the town council out of its precept (annual income)
  • Contact – Councillor Nelson  or The Town Hall, 24 High Street, Tenterden – Tel 01580 762271 – Email: townhall@tenterdentowncouncil.gov.uk

There has been no meeting of the Focus Group since September 2017.  Forms are still being collected in from Hireable Spaces in Tenterden and the Town Council's website will be updated in the near future.

25th September 2017

24th July 2017

12th June 2017

Community Chest update - January 2019

The Community Chest was set aside last year for projects which would benefit, and be supported by, the community as a whole, and was from the sale of council-owned land.  18 applications were received and on 13th August 2018, 10 local organisations were chosen to benefit from the £165,000 Community Chest fund.  The final step in the detailed consultation process was managed by a task group wholly made up of Tenterden residents.

These are the organisations which will be receiving Community Chest funds....

  • The Tuesdays and Ruby Tuesdays - Stage and equipment. £12,000.
  • Tenterden Youth Club - New floor and upgraded toilets. £8,500.
  • Tenterden Social Hub - £19,000 towards a minibus.
  • Tenterden Primary Federation - School computers. £19,500.
  • Tenterden & District Museum – WW1 Centenary exhibition. £19,250.
  • Tenterden Cricket Club - New wickets and drainage. £24,000.
  • Tenterden Amateur Boxing Club - Mezzanine floor. £10,582.
  • St Michaels Village Hall - Kitchen. £24,000.
  • St Michaels and All Angels PCC - Footpath. £8,000.
  • Smallhythe Cricket Club – Clubhouse improvements. £1,750.
  • 2nd Tenterden Scout Group - Site extension/car park. £18,500


Background Information


Tenterden Town Council is inviting residents to put forward ideas on how to spend a Community Chest of £165,000 on local projects.

The money is part of the £3.5 million received from the developers of new housing estates in the town. While most of that is earmarked for major capital projects, such as the redesign and improvements to the Recreation Ground, investigating the feasibility of a local cinema and restoring the Town Hall, the council is asking for help on how to spend the rest on smaller projects.

The key condition for making grants from the Community Chest is that projects should be of benefit to the whole community.

The Community Chest initiative - which is rare for a local authority of Tenterden's size - was officially launched at a public meeting in the Town Hall on Wednesday, 17 January at 7.00 pm.  

Representatives of projects seeking funding can download an: 

Says Tenterden Mayor Justin Nelson: "This is an exceptional opportunity for groups in the town to access funding. It is all part of our strategy for utilising the funds received from local housing developers as wisely, and widely, as possible."

The Council is also asking for volunteers to join the Task Group which will ultimately evaluate and decide on applications for funding. The majority of the Task Group will be residents, supported by members of the council.

The Public Consultation

Following a competitive tender process, Lipton Group (a trading name of Leslie Lipton Ltd) was hired as an independent consultation specialist to ascertain the communities hopes, dreams and fears for how the Tent1 money should be spent. The original remit was extended as the consultation began as it became clear the community wanted to discuss other things.

Having monitored the process, the council has accepted the attached final report in that they believe it has been professionally and independently created, and does represent the views of the community as collected over three months and through face to face and digital means. The council also accepts the suggestions and recommendations made by the consultants as being logical assumptions that have been tested in front of the community.

However, it should be understood that acceptance of the report does not necessarily imply the council shares all the views or will follow all recommendations. The final decision and responsibility for controlling expenditure remains with the council.

The report’s findings will kick-start a number of exciting projects and inform future priorities for the town.

The Results

New and improved facilities are on the way. The Town Council will spend in excess of £3 million on a range of projects which will play a big role in the town’s regeneration. This will be supplemented by outside grant funding and targeted funds (Section 106) from developers of housing schemes around the town.

The first project to be tackled will be the re-ordering of Tenterden recreation ground and provision of a skate park and additional facilities on the land.

The scope of the report extends to extra projects outside the council’s remit, and therefore information will be shared with the Leisure Centre, St Mildred’s Church and other partners in order to collaborate to maximise additional external grant funding and give a cohesive approach to projects within the town. 

The full report from the Lipton Group and supporting demographic information is available here.

Town Clerk Phil Burgess said: “This is a great opportunity for the Town Council to undertake projects, safe in the knowledge that we have the full support from the local community. Thank you to everyone involved in the process so far for their hard work and effort on behalf of the town. We urge residents to set aside some time to read the report and find out more details about the new and improved facilities that are on the table. There are exciting times ahead for the town.”

Tenterden Regeneration – the Next Steps - March 2017

We need residents to come forward and take part in the next stage of the process.

Following the comprehensive consultation report from Liptons, the Town Council is keen to maintain impetus and ensure that the projects move forward.

Focus Groups will be set up for the following projects

  • Recreation ground reordering and youth hub
  • Town Hall repairs, possible extension and possible community hub
  • Cinema proposal
  • Outdoor pitches / football hub
  • Community halls and virtual hub

The focus groups will have between 6 and 10 members with 1 or 2 councillors taking part. The remaining members will be selected by the council from the applicants. A broad range of opinions, ages and interests will be sought among focus group members and we would encourage residents to apply.

Our deadline is 30th April - If you would like to be involved in a focus group please contact the Town Council stating your contact details, age, the particular focus group and reason for your interest. townhall@tenterdentowncouncil.gov.uk or Tenterden Town Council, The Town Hall, 24 High Street, Tenterden Kent TN30 6AN.

If you know someone who you feel would be suited to take this role, please encourage them to apply.

At the same time the Council will appoint a design team to work alongside and liaise with the focus groups.


Following the hugely successful exhibition on Friday, 21st and Saturday, 22nd February 2020, we have provided below the information that was displayed.  We would very much like those who could not make the exhibition to look at the information first and then complete the online survey.

Once you have looked at each of the above, please complete the online survey HERE.   Thank you for taking part.

Public Exhibition Dates and Poster

There will a public exhibition of the three regeneration projects at the Town Hall from 3pm to 7pm on Friday, 21st February and 10am to 2pm on Saturday, 22nd February 2020.  We hope as many residents as possible are able to pop along and see the exhibition and see how hard the focus groups have worked to reach this point.  Click here for the poster of the event.

June 2019 Update:

For updates on the individual projects, please click on the links above.

Public exhibition and consultation: The projects referred to above and the St Mildred’s request will be detailed at a public exhibition to be held in September 2019 at the Town Hall and St Michaels Village Hall, when residents of Tenterden, St Michaels and Smallhythe will be invited to comment on each to help the town council decide what resources – in particular from the £3.5M received for the sale of part of the land being developed by Dandara and Taylor Wimpey - to apply to each.

Proposed future projects

Football facilities: A multi-pitch facility to include a full-size pitch and smaller training pitches with clubhouse facilities. Potential sites for this are being investigated

St Michaels recreation ground improvements: Funds to be paid by the developers of the Pope House Farm site (just outside St Michaels) will be required to contribute towards these improvements. When the amounts involved, and the availability of other town council funds, are known, residents’ views on what improvements are appropriate will be canvassed.