Response from John Haynes, Director of Operational Services, TWBC - 30 July 2001

Operational Services
Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS

Our ref: JH/HVC
Date: 30 July 2001

The Telephone House Neighbours Association
37 Church Road
Kent TN1 1JT

Dear Ms Topliss


Thank you for your letter dated 24 July 2001.

I presume that by the time you receive this reply you would have already received a letter from the Chief Executive advising you that the Operations Board meeting held on 26 July decided not to appeal against the Planning Inspector's decisions.
The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to address the residual matters which exist following the Board's decision. I trust, therefore, that in this respect it will be satisfactory. If not, however, please feel free to communicate with me again.

You are correct that my advice to the Council meeting held on 23 May 2001, in a practical sense, advised Members NOT to take into account your Association's request that evening.

Please find attached a photocopy of Standing Order 6. In particular, see 6 (2).

If I have understood the point you are making with respect to Policy H6(a) with respect to aggrievement, I would doubt that the Council would have any responsibility. All policies in any adopted Local Plan would have been exposed to very rigorous scrutiny and examination and in a public inquiry all policy objections will have been examined by the independent Inspector. However, planning legislation is very complex and you may wish to take independent legal advice. Please note, however, that the Council will NOT meet your costs for this or advice/surveys on any other matter you have raised. If you are not happy with this decision please advise me of your reasons for this and if these appear to have any legal foundation I will consult our solicitor on the matter.

Please note the Operational Services Board meeting was given a copy of your letter. This was available to all Members present at the start of the meeting and hence prior to their consideration of Officers' report.

Yours sincerely
John Haynes
Director of Operational Services

After the Public Inquiry during summer/autumn 2001
TWBC Chief Executive's and Director of Operational Services' attitude 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 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.