Baily Garner worked with Town and Country Housing Group and local residents to create an appropriate replacement development for the original Ropers Gate 1950s flats and shops, historically blighted by anti-social behaviour and vandalism. Regeneration proposals involved two major public consultation events, extensive habitat surveys and protection programmes for bats and slow worms found on site and extended collaboration and negotiation with planning and local authority officers to obtain approval for the scheme of 62 dwellings, 30 flats and 32 houses and a new post office, which had to continue to trade throughout involving a phased delivery.
Numerous challenges encountered included trunk sewers crossing the site, requiring a layout in which new estate roads followed the easements, with bespoke units accommodating irregular plots, liaising with the Tree Officer to incorporate key trees into the estate design and alleviating problems with security of public and private spaces by returning to traditional streets lined with overlooking houses and flats and secure gardens, with the new shop as a focal point at the entrance to the development.
The scheme had to be financially sustainable, with market sale dwellings subsidising social rented, in an integrated, tenure blind development.
Spa Meadows won the Tunbridge Wells Civic Society Award in October 2014 and was highly commended in the PlaceMaker Awards.