A building currently occupied by a freight and logistics organization in Tunbridge Wells is set to be converted into apartments following a planning application submitted to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Hermes House on St John’s Road is currently the headquarters of Logistics UK – formerly the Freight Transport Association.

According to plans submitted to Council, the site is to be demolished and redeveloped to provide 43 new homes in a four-storey building.

It will include a mix of studios and one and two bedroom apartments with private balconies for all new homes.

There will also be 53 on-site parking spaces, including electric vehicle charging spaces and 44 bicycle parking spaces in secure storage.

Logistics UK, which employs around 120 people in the city, moved into the iconic building off the A26 in 1985.

Hermes House features a circular art deco main building and distinctive clock, was originally designed as a church when built in 1931.

Logistics UK, which campaigns on behalf of the freight and logistics industry, says the aging building is no longer fit for the needs of the organisation.

A company spokesperson said: “Due to the poor quality of existing working accommodation at Hermes House, its location in a residential area and the distance from transport hubs, Logistics UK have planned to vacate Hermes House .

“Logistics UK would like to move to new, more suitable premises within Royal Tunbridge Wells, in a more accessible location closer to the station.

“In response to the pandemic, Logistics UK also needs a much smaller employment area, as many of the staff now work in a hybrid way or spend less time in the office.”

The spokesperson continued: “The existing buildings have reached the end of their life cycle, they have a disjointed layout, do not meet modern standards and are no longer fit for purpose.

“The redevelopment of the site offers a unique opportunity to provide much needed new homes close to the town center of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

“The program is sensitively designed with consideration for the site’s surroundings to provide a program that reflects and complements the character of the surrounding area.

“The new building will be part three to part four storey high, reflecting the prevailing residential heights in the local area.”

No details on the cost of the new apartments have been released, but according to the request, no affordable housing is included in the plans due to construction costs.

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