Courier 23 March 2001 - Comment Page 26

Neighbours put protests into action

A storm is brewing over the development of Telephone House in Tunbridge Wells, which could see building of 43 flats.

Residents fighting the plans fear the new homes will increase congestion on the already busy Church Road.

Battles against developments are set to increase. The environment, both town and countryside, is being damaged at an alarming rate but people are more prepared to take on those responsible in a bid to protect their surroundings.

The opposition to the BT building has a sophisticated 50-strong band of residents prepared to fight.

The building is an eyesore, few would disagree and it is out of place in Church Road, which features some beautiful buildings, including Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre and Buss Morton Solicitors.

Congestion stretches its length during peak times and a potential 43 further cars joining the road in rush hour would make matters far worse.

Current trends show the number of cars per household is often more than one, which means occupants will rely on nearby street, such as York Road, for parking.

The building has lain empty for two years and it's certainly time the prime town centre spot was given a new lease of life. The planning inspector has a tricky decision to make and he can rest assured the Telephone House Neighbours' Association will be watching carefully.

The Telephone House Development - a guide through the Local Press