Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
The Local Plan Review - Deposit Copy
rubberstamped by Councillors on 23.05.2001

POLICY H6
Several sites are allocated for residential development in the period 2001 - 2006. The Local Planning Authority will seek the access, density, form, layout, dwelling mix, landscaping, recreation and education provision for these sites as set out. Comprehensive development of each site is sought.

Policy H6(a) - allocated for Telephone House, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells -
is identical to the 2 refused planning applications for Telephone House.





THNA 01.03.04 - The Association's questions to the Inspector regarding the Telephone House site, since Summer 2003 known as CALA Homes' Norfolk Grange development:
"Is 0.3 slightly lower than 0.4 (para 7.7. TWBC reply) ?"
"Is the vote of democratically elected members / councillors to be overruled by a Policy H6(a) (para 7.9 TWBC reply) ?"

THNA 20.02.04 - Final Statement to the Inspector, Miss L. Graham
"The Association does not consider it necessary to be present at the Formal Hearing on 2 March 2004"

TWBC 04.02.04 - Proof of Evidence presented on behalf on the Local Planning Authority
TWBC's response to the Objection to Policy H6(a) Allocation of Land at Telephone House for Residential Use

THNA 29.06.03 - Proof of Evidence by THNA
"It is the opinion of residents, that the site would not have achieved the present planning consent without Policy H6(a). Therefore it is perverse to eliminate this policy on the grounds that the site has now a planning permission."

TWBC 09.05.03 - TWBC appointed Andrew Kelly, QC to defend the Council at the Public Local Inquiry.
Andrew Kelly, QC is of the same London Chambers as QC Richard Phillips, who was engaged for the appeal by Crest Nicholson against TWBC's refusal to grant the planning consent for the Telephone House site !

Planning Inspectorate 04.04.03 - Announcement for 9 May 2003 : Pre-Inquiry Meeting with Inspector, Miss L Graham, appointed by the First Secretary of State to consider objections to the Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan Review
Announcement for 16 September 2003 : The Inquiry into objections to the Deposit Draft of the TWBC Local Plan Review will open on Tuesday, 16.09.2003 at the Council Chambers, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Town Hall (3 days).

TWBC 07.03.03 - Organising the Public Local Inquiry: TWBC Head of Strategy and Development, Tony Fullwood, and the Government appointed Inspector
List of duly made Representations for the First and Second Deposit Copy

THNA 18.12.02 - The Association's formal objection to Policy H6(a) Local Plan Review - 2nd Deposit Copy
Local Plan Policy H6(a), a policy for the allocation of residential development on the Telephone House site, Tunbridge Wells:
"no policy ought to have been allocated to this site in the first place!"

THNA 16.10.02 - With the publication of the Local Plan Review Second Deposit Copy comments to the First Deposit Copy were made available.
Between 10.08.2001 and 21.09.2001 TWBC accepted comments to Policy H6(a), a policy for the allocation of residential development on the Telephone House site, Tunbridge Wells. TWBC asked for the reasons for objecting and, if objecting, what change would be sought to the plan which could resolve the objection.

TWBC 26.09.02 Members of the Cabinet recommend to Full Council (to be held 16 Oct 2002 in Council Chambers):
Delete allocation Policy H6(a) Telephone House site

TWBC 14.04.02 Councillor Mrs Paulson-Ellis, chairman of Western Area Planning Committee writes to THNA:
You have my assurance that should the new owners submit a new Planning Application, I will call this in so that it is considered by the Western Area Planning Committee and not dealt with under delegation by Officers

TWBC 10.04.02 Councillor Noakes, chairman of the Local Plan Working Party writes to THNA:
If an early understanding can be reached between the site owners, you and the planning staff, guided by members, then it is possible that an approval could be achieved for a mutually acceptable scheme before the Local Plan makes much more progress

THNA 06.03.02 - Policy H6(a) has to be removed once and for all from Local Plan
Letters to: chairman of Western Area Planning Committee and chairman of Local Plan Working Party

THNA 26.02.02 - Policy H6(a) : IN or OUT of the Local Plan ?
Questions and Answer at Full Council Meeting

THNA 17.09.01 - The Association's formal objection to Policy H6(a) Local Plan Review - Deposit Copy
The Policy as drafted, completely ignores the known views of the MP for Tunbridge Wells Archie Norman, of elected Councillors and all objections raised by a substantial number of residents and council tax payers.

TWBC 15.08.01 - Policy H6(a) in connection with the Telephone House Appeal
Could the Inspector's Decisions have been challenged ?
Copy of Chief Executive Rodney Stone's correspondence to MP Archie Norman
[ 1 day after the deadline to challenge the Planning Inspector's decisions ]
"There seems little doubt that the Inspector did break the relevant procedure rules in dealing with policy H6(a) in the way that he did."

TWBC 10.07.01 - Policy H6(a) in connection with the Telephone House Appeal
Could the Inspector's Decisions have been challenged ?
Copy of Chief Executive Rodney Stone's correspondence to Cllr David Wakefield
[ several days after the announcement of the Planning Inspector's decisions on 3 July 2001 ]
"While it is true that the Inspector did refer to the draft Local Plan, it is not clear the extent that this influenced him - it was only one of several factors that influenced him on the density issue"

TWBC 23.05.01 - Policy H6(a) as included in the Local Plan Review - Deposit Copy
Bizarrely, Policy H6(a) allocated for Telephone House was identical to the two refused planning applications for the Telephone House development.
TWBC officers stated in November 2001:
. . . the application which officers recommended be approved [ in October 2000 ] and the Inspector did approve on appeal [ in July 2001 ], was consistent with Policy H6 as it appeared in the Draft Local Plan [ in May 2001 ] . . .

TWBC 23.05.01 - The Minutes of Full Council Meeting: LOCAL PLAN REVIEW - recorded votes of Members

THNA 22.05.01 - The Telephone House Neighbours Association wrote to ALL 48 Councillors of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
to dismiss Policy H6(a) from the Local Plan and made them aware that the Policy allocated for Telephone House, represents the same scheme as the twice refused Crest Homes/ BT applications.

architect 2000 - The footprint / layout of the proposed blocks of flats in comparison:
present Telephone House - 1st and 2nd planning applications for the Telephone House Development




Comment

Comment November 2002

THNA made it very clear that Policy H6(a) of the Draft Local Plan was a mistake and has to be corrected

Policy H6(a) is bizarrely

BUT


Chief Executive Rodney Stone does not attempt to follow residents' requests [23.05.01 amp&; 17.07.01 amp&; 20.07.01] to call for the removal of Policy H6(a), but ironically admits, that this policy IS unambiguously a material consideration [RS to DW 09.07.01] and therefore to challenge the Inspector's decisions would not have the slightest chance.
In his letter of 07.09.01 Rodney Stone then writes: "I still take the view that it would not be useful to answer the questions that you have raised, or now raise, when the site now has a planning permission. [Deadline to appeal was 14.08.01] . . . . Of course you still have the ability to comment upon Policy H6(a) or any other aspect of the Local Plan."


1 year later, after the 16 October 2002, comments to the Local Plan Review (1st Deposit Copy) were made public. Members of THNA were surprised that none of their valuable arguments to amend Policy H6(a) were mentioned in the appraisal. They noted that Cllr Roy Bullock had commented that "Now that the appeal has been decided, the policy should be removed from the plan" andthat Rydon Homes supported the removal of the policy on the same grounds as Cllr Bullock.

Leaves us with another question:






CALA Homes February 2003 - CALA Homes contractor Wooldridge Ecotec move in - Demolition of Telephone House
Will the planners for Telephone House NOW realise,
how small this site is ? - how many flats they want to cram onto this site ?

CALA Homes October 2002 - Can CALA Homes really not be persuaded to do better ?

THNA The Telephone House Neighbours Association informs on CALA Homes (South) Development:
CALA Group acquired the controversial planning permission for the high density development of Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1.