08.07.01 - Letter of THNA Committee Member William Bennett to Culverden Ward Councillor David Wakefield

Cllr. David Wakefield
Jordan House
68 London Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells

Dear David

I was pleased to speak to you this morning [ 8 July 2001 ] and now enclose my copies of the Appeal Decision and the Notice how to challenge.

As you will see on pages 3 and 4 of the former the Inspector refers to the Deposit Draft Local Plan which had not even been published when the hearing took place on 1st - 4th May 2001.

It must therefore been leaked to him after the termination of the hearing and he must have falsely been advised that H6 (a) was part of Council policy, whilst most councillors knew it was not so.
- Who leaked the document and what disciplinary action should be taken against this person(s)?

You advised me that Mr Stone had specifically assured you at the Council Meeting on 23 May, that by voting for the Deposit Draft Local Plan the appeal would not be prejudiced and the Inspector would, could, should not take it into account.
If Mr Stone is correct clearly the Inspector reached his decision in so far as the density is concerned by incorrect and misleading hearsay.

You are a Councillor, which I am not, and I hope you have not thought me presumptuous in suggesting that an extraordinary meeting of the council should be called immediately to remove clause H6 (a) and create certainty, and that an appeal should be launched in the High Court within the six week period permitted (14 Aug. 2001).

A final point.
Why not put an immediate Tree Preservation Order on the trees in York Road? The previous request{ autumn 2000 ] was turned down by council officers without reference to the Western Area Planning Committee !

I believe that Crest Homes would be happy to do a development with only 25+ units (with relaxed affordable housing) and would indeed make as good a profit as with 42+ (including affordable housing). What they would not want is similar hassle from council officers that they have experienced to date.

An Appeal to the High Court might persuade them to the negotiating table as long as they get an assurance that officers will be strictly controlled and supervised.

This is a matter the outcome of which will affect the heart of Tunbridge Wells for the next 40 years or more and it is surely vital that the will of Archie Norman, Councillors, Neighbours and local Residents should prevail over the antics and behaviour of certain council officers.

I look forward to hearing from you soon please.

Kind regards
Yours sincerely

cc: The Chairman, The Telephone House Neighbours Association

Could the Inspector's decisions have been challenged ?

The Trees in York Road between Trinity House and No. 27 York Road, Tunbridge Wells

Whom are we dealing with ? - The developers of Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells