Response from Rodney Stone, Chief Executive, TWBC
orderd by the Leader of the Council Councillor James Scholes and other Councillors of Tunbridge Wells -
18 July 2001

Corporate Services
Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS

Our ref: RJS/ALI
Date:18 July 2001

Ms K Quinnell
The Telephone House Neighbours Association
37 Church Road
Kent TNl 1JT

Dear Ms Quinnell


I have been shown your letter of the 9 July, addressed to several Councillors.

The position is that the Borough Secretary and Solicitor is taking Counsel's Opinion on the issue of challenging the Inspector's Decisions and he will be reporting on the matter to the Council's Operational Services Board on the 26 July. The meeting starts at 5.00 pm and is at the Town Hall.

However, in view of the need to receive legal advice which will include an assessment of the prospects of success of High Court proceedings, it is likely that the item will be considered in the Exempt part of the Agenda and that members of the public will be excluded from the meeting for that item.

However I will write to you after the meeting letting you know the decision.

Yours sincerely
Chief Executive

THNA LETTER - 9 July 2001
To Councillors:
Davies, Oliver-Smith, Patterson, Booth,Veitch, Price, Lynes, Wakefield, Fisher, Noakes, Weeden, Ealden, Morton, Bullock, Ward, Baker, Waldock, Ollive, Bulman, Mayhew, Harrison, Cload, Ballantine, Mills, Ekins-Daukes, Bell, Wratten, Cunningham, Catt, Carvell, Jolley, Lewis, Neve, Lockhart, Baker, Young, Barber-Hughes, Horwood, Scholes, Aungier, Boddy, Blackburn, Poile, Rusbridge, Clary, Howell, Jukes, Paulson-Ellis
cc: Member of Parliament Archie Norman

- Application 99/02211 - Application 00/01474
- Appeal APP/M227/A/00/1054946
- APPEAL DECISION by Inspector Malcolm Lewis - § 14

If the Western Area Planning Committee Members are empowered by the electorate of Tunbridge Wells to reject the planning application by Crest Homes/BT for Telephone House, how come both rejections have been ignored, and later, at a meeting held on 23rd May 2001, Members of the Western Area Planning Committee and other Councillors, changed their minds completely, and accepted policy H6(a)/Telephone House; a policy which matches exactly, the twice rejected plan ?

Had these Councillors stood firm, and remained consistent in their decision to reject the plan, surely this situation would not have arisen?

Presuming that you have the power to control planning policies in this town, we urge you to use it to remove this specific policy H6(a), and challenge the Inspector’s (Malcolm Lewis) decision in this matter (Appeal Decision - Reasons: §14), by applying to the High Court at the Crown Office within the specified time limit - August 14th 2001.

We would appreciate being kept informed of the action that you take.
The Telephone House Neighbours Association

Could the Inspector's decisions have been challenged ?
Are Councillors willing to exercise their power in Tunbridge Wells ?
27.07.01 - the Chief Executive announces the Councillors' decision.

Bizarrely, Policy H6(a) allocated for Telephone House was identical to the two refused planning applications for the Telephone House development.
[1st: refused at delegated officers' level - 2nd: refused by the Councillors of the Western Area Planning Committee].
Policy H6(a) is the most controversial document, produced by the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, leading to the Telephone House Debacle.

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.