Evidence filed by Clive Patmoore, Technical Director of Denis Wilson Partnership,
for the Public Inquiry: Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells, 1 May 2001
Clive Patmoore declares himself to be acquainted with the Telephone House site and starts by using a wrong area map for his investigations.
CLIVE PATMORE will say:-
I am a Technical Director with the Denis Wilson Partnership, of Windsor House, 37 Windsor Street Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 8AT. My firm has considerable experience of the engineering aspects of all types of development proposals, and has advised many companies and local government authorities in that capacity.
I am a Member of the Institution of Highways and Transportation, and a Fellow of the Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers, and I hold a Diploma in Highway and Traffic Engineering.
I have specialised in Highway and Traffic Engineering for over 28 years, both in local government and private practice.
I am acquainted with the site, and have carried out investigations for the purposes of giving evidence at this Inquiry.
1.1.1 The Conclusions, as set out in section 9 of my Proof of Evidence, were written in the form of a summary, however for completeness, and for ease of reference, I have reproduced this information as this separately bound document.
1.1.2 In section 2 of my Proof I described how the Appeal Site is situated immediately on the west of Tunbridge Wells town centre, with direct frontage to both the A264 Church Road, and York Road.
1.1.3 Current Government policies strongly encourage the location of new housing developments within town centres, where the efficient redevelopment of previously developed sites can be achieved.
1.1.4 The appeal development is for 43 flats, of which 35 will be for private sale, and 8 will be affordable dwellings.
1.1.5 The site is within the Royal Tunbridge Wells Central Parking Zone, and is therefore within easy walking distance of the central shopping area, the railway station and a wide range of bus services, as well as the many town centre leisure, shopping and employment destinations.
1.1.6 I have shown how well the site is related to the existing high level of bus and train services, which exist within the town centre, and which make this site highly accessible.
1.1.7 Government policies encourage the provision of limited parking spaces for new developments, especially for town centre sites, where services are readily available by walking, cycling and public transport.
1.1.8 As with the existing office development the majority of car parking will be served from York Road, with only 4 visitor spaces located at the Church Road front of the site.
1.1.9 This arrangement was encouraged by, and agreed with the Highway Authority.
1.1.10 A total of 46 parking spaces will be provided within the development, of which 4 will be for the smaller affordable flats, and the remaining spaces available for the other residents of the private flats, with a total of 42 spaces served from York Road.1.1.11 This parking provision is just in excess of the minimum parking standards that apply to this town centre location, and the Planning Authority has raised no objection to the parking provision.
1.1.12 Furthermore the majority of parking within the site will be in private underground car parking space, and as a result the existing unkempt open surface car park, which currently serves the offices, and is fully visible from York Road, will be removed.
1.1.13 The site is currently occupied by an office building of approximately 4,000m2 (43,000ft2), with a total of 105 parking spaces permitted within the site.
1.1.14 It is estimated that if this use were brought back into full operation, then this town centre site, would attract a total of approximately 119 vehicle movements during the morning peak hour, 80 vehicle movements during the evening peak hour, and 813 vehicle movements throughout the 12 hour working day.
1.1.15 Of these, it is estimated that York Road would be used by 91 vehicles during the morning peak hour, 61 vehicles during the evening peak hour, and 618 vehicles throughout the 12-hour working day.
1.1.16 By contrast the proposed 43 flats are likely to generate around 6 vehicle movements during the morning peak hour, 1 vehicle movement during the evening peak hour, and only 41 vehicle movements through a 12 hour day.
1.1.17 On York Road, it is estimated that as a result of the proposed development, the level of traffic from the site would be reduced by 93.4% during the morning peak hour, 98.4% during the peak hour, and 93.4% during the 12-hour working day.
1.1.18 A traffic survey undertaken at the eastern end of York Road has shown that on average there are only 72 vehicle movements along York Road during the weekday morning peak hour, 69 vehicle movements during the evening peak hour, and a total of 830 vehicles throughout a 12 hour working day.
1.1.19 If the existing offices are refurbished and brought back into use, I estimate that there is likely to be an increase in the region of 126% in traffic movements along York Road during the morning peak hour, 88.4% during the evening peak hour and 74.5% throughout the 12 hour working day.
1.1.20 If the proposed residential development is implemented, then it is likely to result in increases of only around 8.3% along York Road during the morning peak hour, 1.4% during the evening peak hour and 4.9% throughout the 12-hour working day.
1.1.21 I firmly believe that this information clearly shows that there would be major benefits for the residents of York Road, if the proposed flats were constructed, when compared to the reintroduction of the existing established office use on the site.
1.1.22 At the present time there are no restrictions on access for service vehicles to the site.
1.1.23 I have provided Track plots, which show that during the demolition and construction stages of the redevelopment, the largest articulated and rigid vehicles would have difficulty gaining access to the site from both York Road and Church Road.
1.1.24 I accept that for environmental reasons, the level of commercial vehicle movements in York Road should be limited, however in my opinion to ban all such movements would impose an unreasonable restriction on the development of the site, and result in a substantially extended construction period.
1.1.25 Mr McCreery has addressed the matter of access for demolition and construction traffic, and I am confident that his proposed wording for a revised Condition 17 would protect the amenities of the residents of York Road, without imposing unreasonable restrictions on the redevelopment of the site.
1.1.26 I have considered the evidence of the Telephone House Neighbours Association, and believe that they do not raise any sustainable objections on traffic and transportation issues.
1.1.27 I firmly believe that my Proof of Evidence fully demonstrates that there is no reasonable basis on which any objection can be raised to the proposed residential development on highway, traffic and transportation grounds.
1.1.28 Furthermore, by the imposition of reasonable conditions, I consider that the demolition of the existing office building and the redevelopment of this town centre site can be achieved without an unacceptable level of commercial vehicle movements in York Road.
1.1.29 On the basis of the detailed information presented in my Proof of Evidence, I respectfully request that this appeal be allowed.
Back to Kevin Wilkinsonís speech at the Public Inquiry May 2001
Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells
January 2003 - Interactive Map of the area of the Telephone House Development,
explaining the traffic flow around the Church Road / York Road Block in Tunbridge Wells