Tonbridge Green Party Backs Angel Centre Demolition

The Green Party in Tonbridge has endorsed the demolition of the Angel leisure centre but wants Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council to specify where replacement leisure facilities for residents should be built.

Mark Hood, who is the Green councillor for Judd ward, (pictured below) said: “We believe it is the right decision to demolish the Angel Centre because it performs poorly in terms of its environmental standards. It can’t be retrofitted to make it carbon neutral and it costs residents a huge amount of money in maintenance every year.”

Mark Hood 9

Mark Hood continued: “We are particularly worried about it being relocated in the area next to the swimming pool where the miniature railway is now. We want reassurance on that matter.”

A meeting of key members of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council on 5th December decided that the Angel Centre no longer meets modern standards and it needed to be demolished, but it failed to say where replacement facilities could be.


The Angel centre was only opened in 1981. The site had previously been used for Kent county cricket matches until the Second World War and then the Tonbridge Angels soccer team used the site until they were relocated to the north of the town.

The Head of the Council Matt Boughton has already said that he can’t envisage that the miniature railway site would be used.  That’s despite the fact that the Leisure Trust which run the council’s facilities have previously said the area is their preferred option.

Mark Hood of the Green Party responded by saying he wanted the Council’s six member ruling cabinet to be “absolutely explicit that there will be no development on that site.”

Minature Railway

You can hear more about the Green Party’s vision for development in Tonbridge by listening to the latest edition of the “West Kent Talking” free Podcast, which is available on all podcast platforms.

Or you can click on this link:

An online petition calling for the miniature railway site to be preserved on its current site attracted 2,890 signatures before being closed.

A statement from Colin Harwood of the Tonbridge Model Engineering Society that runs the railway was issued today.  It said:
“Thank you for the interest that has been shown over the future of this Society and its need to remain on its current site. The Society has now met with Council representatives and has been assured that it is now very unlikely that its site would be affected by a planned replacement for the Angel Centre. A decision on our site will be made at a Council meeting on Tuesday 9 January 2024. The Society will be involved in any discussion which has the potential to affect this position.”
The latest edition of the “West Kent Talking” podcast also has interviews on the National Trust’s Christmas celebrations at Ightham Mote and speaks to the new owner of the independent bookshop in Tonbridge, now known as Teppa Books.
More details of Cllr Matt Boughton’s comments were contained in:

Southborough News