30.05.2001 - Letter to Operational Services Director John Haynes

37 Church Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells

e-mail: telephonehouse@cs.com
internet: http://uk.geocities.com/telephonehouse

FAO: John Haynes, Esq
Director of Operational Services
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Town Hall TN1 1RS

30 May 2001

Dear Mr Haynes

LOCAL PLAN REVIEW Policy H6(a) / Telephone House

Overlooking, Privacy, and Easement Law: Rights of Light

At the extra-ordinary Council Meeting 23 May 2001 you advised the Council members to disregard the request by The Telephone House Neighbours Association to dismiss Policy H6(a)/Telephone House. Our letters were addressed to individual Councillors, not to the Council and certainly not to managers and officers of TWBC.

If Mayor Morton as chairman of the extra-ordinary Council Meeting felt that our letter to all Council members should have been ignored, he should have advised the Members to do so. We believe it is unconstitutional to interfere in a voting process the way you did. Please advise us why you felt it necessary to do so.

We understand that the Local Plan Review includes Policy H6 (a) / Telephone House which is now regarded material consideration for building control purposes. Did your officers make you aware of the unresolved legal issue regarding "Rights of Light"? We refer to a letter by Mrs. Ruth Chambers dated 15 February 2001, confirming that she is "not an expert in terms of loss of light as a legal issue".

We understand Policy H6 (a)/Telephone House defines that "York Road should include frontage development, to follow existing building lines", despite Mr. Nigel Eveleigh's, Mr. David Prentis' and Mr. Peter Ashby's acknowledgements, that it would be better to recess any future development.

Should apartment blocks or houses on York Road be built almost straight onto the pavement and to the previously proposed heights, we wish to register our interest in the easement law of Rights of Light.

We request that the Council pay our reasonable costs to have a survey done and, if required, compensate all affected parties for the loss of light. Should the value of the properties surrounding the new development decrease by virtue of overlooking and loss of privacy, would you please accept our legal costs to deal with this matter.

Would you please accept a closing date to address all points raised by 15 June.

Yours sincerely
Annemarie Toppliss

During summer/autumn 2001, after the Public Inquiry - The attitude of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's
Chief Executive and Director of Operational Services towards Residents

Bizarrely, Policy H6(a) allocated for Telephone House was identical to the two refused planning applications for the Telephone House development.
[1st: refused at delegated officers' level - 2nd: refused by the Councillors of the Western Area Planning Committee].
Policy H6(a) is the most controversial document, produced by the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, leading to the Telephone House Debacle.

The rights of light and loss of light issue

The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the high-density development on Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1.