No more than one day into the Government Inquiry into the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for TWBC’s vanity project, Calverley Square, the architect now responsible for the theatre admits that the design is not progressive. 

James Eades, a partner at Nicholas Hare Architects,  lead designer for the next stage, gave evidence at the Inquiry today (Wednesday 13th February) in support of the Civic scheme.  As part of his cross-examination he was asked why he thought the inflexible Tunbridge Wells theatre design was progressive, given that Andrew Lloyd Webber is closing the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to convert it to a flexible space to meet the demands of modern musicals.  Mr Eades replied simply that he did not say it was  “progressive”.

With the proposed new Tunbridge Wells theatre, producers will be faced with a dated fixed-seat format and a proscenium arch.  Campaigners have long been telling Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) that the new theatre is out of date before it is out of the ground, and James Eades’s comment today at the formal Inquiry appears to confirm this.

The Public Inquiry into the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), which will reportedly cost council tax payers £500,000, will continue until Wednesday 27th February.  You can find full details, including a schedule for each day, here :

Nicholas Hare Architects were appointed to Mace who have so far been paid £1,658,005.00 for their work on this project.