Courier 08 June 2001 - LETTERS section Page 26

Real support

Public consultation for the local plan review.

Consultation is meaningless if concerns raised by residents are not taken into consideration.

From York Road we wrote to the council about our concerns for the Telephone House development
- at the first application [ January 2000 ],
- again at the second application [ October 2000 ] and
- sat through a four-day public inquiry [ May 2001 ].

But regardless of the pending state of the inquiry's outcome, council officers slipped a policy into the local plan review for the Telephone House which is now material consideration for building control purposes.
Unfortunately, Cllr Oliver-Smith, easily led by council officers, found it more important to "whip" the document through (including the Telephone House policy) than taking into consideration comments and requests of residents.
The policy ridicules all our efforts of reasoning with officers and councillors as it imposes on a developer virtually the same scheme as the controversial Crest Homes/BT planning applications.

Apart from Archie Norman, and the former chairman of the western area planning commitee, Cllr Leonard Price nobody really listened to us, and, for that matter, to the 800 citizens of Tunbridge Wells who gave us their support.
We will write again, and again, lobby and canvas so that our suggestions will get the attention of developers, architects, council officers and councillors, planning ministers and the Secretary of State alike.

Maybe, those who one day have to sell property on this site will realise that it will be easier with support from residents.

Barbara Clarke
York Road, Tunbridge Wells

Bizarrely, Policy H6(a) allocated for Telephone House was identical to the two refused planning applications for the Telephone House development.
Policy H6(a) is the most controversial document, produced by the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, leading to the Telephone House Debacle

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

A guide through Tunbridge Wells Local Press since August 2000 - "The Telephone House Debacle"