Archie Norman, would you support our plea to Councillors ?
15.07.2001 - Letter of THNA chairman Peter Morse to MP Archie Norman

37 Church Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells


Mr. Archie Norman
MP for Tunbridge Wells
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

15th July 2001

Dear Mr Norman,

Re: Telephone House Development

No doubt you will have heard by now of the decision made by Inspector Malcolm Lewis to uphold the appeal made by Crest Nicholson in respect of developing Telephone House.
You may also be aware that the Inspector referred in his rationale to an "emerging" Local Plan Review - Deposit Copy. This was not material consideration at the time of the Inquiry and is only now moving into the process of public consultation.

We have previously forwarded a copy of a letter to you, that was sent to the 48 Councillors of TWBC, prior to their voting on the Local Plan Review Document at an extraordinary Council Meeting held on 23rd May. At this meeting, Councillor David Wakefield was told by TWBC Chief Executive Rodney Stone that the Inspector would not, and could not take the Local Plan Review into consideration, when reviewing the appeal made by Crest Nicholson. Councillor Wakefield also explained that Councillors were told that they were not voting for the Draft Local Plan, but merely voting to allow it to go forward into the public domain.

On 6th June our Association wrote to Rodney Stone, asking for some clarification on why Council Officers acted as they did. This letter specifically asked why Policy H6(a) was put into the Local Plan Review. [ enclosure: questions to Rodney Stone ]

I enclose this letter and Rodney Stone’s answer. It should be said that residents are astounded at the terse, dismissive and belittling nature of this letter. He considers the Telephone House issue historic. We are not sure why?

But, in view of the many flaws in the Inspector’s report and the fact that the Inspector used evidence that was not under material consideration at the time of the inquiry, it seems reasonable to ask Councillors to use their powers and lead TWBC through a High Court appeal.

During the last two years we have an overriding feeling that we have been misled and misrepresented by Planning Officers. We have witnessed Council meetings where we believe the interference of officers has been close to being unconstitutional.

With this as background, we would like to ask you two questions.

No matter what your answer, on behalf of our Association, I would like to thank you for your support during the last few months and sincerely hope that you will remain interested in this issue.
After all, we all agree that the town centre of Tunbridge Wells needs to be enhanced (as you know hundreds of residents of the town wrote to us with their support), but certainly not with something that will have a more detrimental effect than Telephone House as it exists now.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely
Peter Morse
The Telephone House Neighbours Association

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.

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

Could the Inspector's decisions have been challenged ?

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.