Courier 11 August 2000 - LETTERS section Page 14

Bidding to build 43 flats

A proposal to erect flats on the Telephone House site in Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, has been sent to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Crest Homes, which owns the vacant building,(1) wants to demolish it and to build 43 flats with basement -level parking.

A Crest spokesman said: " Crest Homesí proposed development in Tunbridge Wells is in the very early stages, with a planning application recently submitted for 35 private units and eight (8) social housing units."

"We are currently in discussion with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, local residents (2) and the civic society."

The plans were received by the council on July 13 and will go before planning chiefs by September 7.

(1) Crest Homes is not the owner - the landowner is British Telecomís Southgate Developments (a live subsidiary of BT)
Planning Statement of the applicant:
2.7 Southgate Developments Ltd. is the development arm of British Telecommunications Property. The application is proceeding on the basis of a joint application because of the contractual arrangements betweeen Crest Homes and Southgate Developments.

(2) Unfortunately there were no discussions with local residents, but:
Planning Statement of the applicant:
1.2 This application is however significantly different (!!) to that previously refused and has evolved through extensive discussions with the Local Planning Authority, having regard to their views as to the critical issues that needed to be addressed.

Compare this statement of the developers with their Feasibility Study:

(Part C Site analysis 7.0 Planning Constraints - text: Design Analysis)
To achieve a workable scheme it is clear that either, buildings to site frontages must be of unreasonable (!!) depth and potentially height (!!) to provide an adequate overall envelope; similar to the previous scheme rejected for this very reason.

The Telephone House Development - a guide through the Local Press