17.07.2001 - Reply to Chief Executive Rodney Stone's letter of 9 July 2001


THE TELEPHONE HOUSE NEIGHBOURS ASSOCIATION
37 Church Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells
TN1 1JT

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

Rodney Stone Esq
The Chief Executive
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Town Hall TN1 1RS

17 July 2001

Dear Mr Stone

We have received your letter of 9th July. The Telephone House Neighbours Association wishes to ascertain the facts so that the conduct of certain Council officers may be assessed.

We are disturbed to think that if you, as Chief Executive, had read our letter of 6th June, you were apparently not concerned by the nature of our questions. You assert that our Committee is in a mindset about Council officers being entirely wrong. If we were, then there would have been no need for us to ask many of the questions in our letter of 6th June.

It is clear that the experiences and concerns of residents and Councillors with Council officers over the last 18 months became obvious even to the Inspector during the four day Public Inquiry: "... I find that unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary expense …has been demonstrated" (Item 12 of Inspector's Cost Decision report). So far the conduct of officers has resulted in the ratepayers having to bear a possibly large sum by way of costs. This is a matter which needs to be addressed.

Of immediate concern to us now is whether there is a possibility of reversing the Appeal Decision. An Appeal to the High Court needs to be lodged within six weeks, ie by 13th August. The grounds for appeal are limited but clearly the Inspector's findings of fact are wrong in part. He refers to the "Draft Deposit Local Plan" and quotes it in his reasoning for upholding the appeal. This document was not published at the date of the Inquiry and was not referred to at the Inquiry.

At the extra-ordinary Council Meeting on 23rd May, you advised Councillors that Policy H6(a) could not be used by the Inspector. It seems you were not correct. What will you do to correct this?

In your letter of 9th July you end by saying that "I do not take the view that a further dialogue on these now historic issues is in the Council’s interest or indeed that of the residents". Is this solely your view or do you have support?

At the Public Meeting on 11th July you could not confirm or deny that the Council was prepared to take the matter to the High Court. We believe this is a matter for the elected Councillors to decide. We assume that you will support and arrange a Council Meeting so that Policy H6(a) may be removed from the Local Plan Review - Deposit Copy and an appeal to the High Court may be lodged before 13th August 2001.

We look forward to hearing from you urgently, please.

Yours sincerely

Annemarie Topliss
Secretary
for the Committee of
The Telephone House Neighbours Association

cc: Archie Norman, MP



What went wrong with the Telephone House Planning Applications?
2001 - The uneasy questions to the Chief Executive Rodney Stone and other senior officers of TWBC
2003 - The questions are still unanswered; they are as intriguing as 2 years ago.

Could the Inspector's decisions have been challenged ?

After the Public Inquiry, during summer/autumn 2001 - The Attitude of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's
Chief Executive and Director of Operational Services towards residents and rate payers

The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the controversial planning permission of the high density development of Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells.