Issue details

19/00070 - Southborough Hub



The Southborough Hub Project is a joint project between Kent County Council (KCC), Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) and Southborough Town Council (STC) to deliver a Community Hub scheme which has been a long-term aspiration for Southborough Town.  Two previous key decisions (15/00041 and 15/00024) were taken authorising the inclusion of the library and the funding/land transactions required  to facilitate the project.


A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a Collaboration Agreement were signed between KCC and TWBC and STC. The land with the benefit of consent for the 69 residential units was

sold to Crest Nicholson, which along with the NHS and FA grant, has provided the budget to fund the project.


The terms of the Collaboration agreement have facilitated detailed development of the next stages of the project. This includes the negotiation and execution of funding agreements with the NHS and Football Foundation, together with the negotiation of a final tender sum for the construction works.



Proposed decision:


To authorise to the Director of Infrastructure in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Corporate and Democratic Services and the Corporate Director for Finance to enter into the necessary legal documents to enable the construction of the Southborough Hub development.


Alternatives considered:


Part retention of the existing buildings on the site with relevant refurbishment instead of total rebuilding was considered and this was noted as part of the formal consultation in 2015/16.


Further information on alternatives and other details considered may viewed online as part of the previous consultation materials.


Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Tunbridge Wells North;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 09/09/2019

This decision will be taken under urgency procedures.

Reason for urgency:
Having consulted with Mr Hill who represents the KCC interest on the Southborough Project Board and having considered the risks, I have concluded that it is imperative to bring forward the project urgently to lock in the deal that all parties have secured and that KCC cannot wait for the conclusion of the normal key decision timetable. Therefore, immediate implementation is necessary in order to manage all the stakeholders and maintain the credibility and deliverability of the project. The consequences of not achieving this could put the whole project at risk, including the provision of important community facilities.

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt  -

Decision due: Not before 8th Oct 2019 by Cabinet Member for Corporate and Democratic Services
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Corporate and Democratic Services

Lead director: Rebecca Spore

Department: Strategic & Corporate Services

Contact: Tel: 03000417953.


The project was subject to full public consultation in 2015/2016.


The decision was endorsed by Policy and Resources Committee on the 20th September 2019

Papers on the wider aspects of the project have been considered by:

·      Property Sub-committee March 2015

·      Growth Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee - April 2015

·      Infrastructure Commissioning Board April 2019


The Local Member for the affected Division (Tunbridge Wells North) was consulted and gave no additional comments.


Necessity for urgency process discussed with the Chair and Spokespeople of the Scrutiny Committee and progressed with their agreement.


Financial implications: The project is self-funded through the proceeds of the land disposal by the parties along with S106, and contributions from the NHS and the FA association Grant. The Project will also release the current Southborough Library building for disposal. Running costs for the new library will also be reduced as a result of sharing common facilities with the other users.

Legal implications: The building contract forms part of a suite of legal documents binding the parties responsible for the delivery of the hub together. These include: • A Development agreement between Southborough Town Council and KCC. • Section 2 funding agreement between NHS England, KCC and Southborough Town Council. • Football Foundation funding agreement between the Football Foundation, KCC and Southborough Town Council.

Equalities implications: A full Equality’s Impact Assessment has been undertaken and can be viewed on request.


Agenda items