Letter 8 August 2001

TELEPHONE HOUSE - Public Inquiry - 1st to 4th May 2001

It has to come to light that an official of TWBC wrote to the Inspector of the above inquiry on 15th May, 11 days after it was closed. The letter was copied to Planning Consultants of the appellant Crest Homes.
This letter suggested that the Inspector should consider the effect of the (emerging) Draft Local Plan Review on his (future) decision, despite the fact that the Plan was not yet in the public domain nor had it been considered by the Full Council.

It is not surprising therefore that subsequently the Inspector not only allowed Crest Homes' appeal but also awarded costs against the Council for "an irresponsible appeal".
He referred in his decision regarding costs to the fact that the evidence given by the Council's officers did not in fact support a refusal of planning consent nor did it accord with the evidence provided by some Councillors.

On whose instruction was the attention of the Inspector and the Appellant drawn in this way to the fact that the Council's own Local Plan was in direct contradiction with the Council's two decisions to refuse permission for the development?

If the instruction came from a Councillor or Councillors surely they should look to bearing the cost of the appeal which their action showed to be so palpably irresponsible.

If the letter was not authorised by our elected representatives then who is running our Borough Council - the Councillors we elect or the officials whom they employ on our behalf?

Michael Doyle
Dorset Road, Hawkenbury, Tunbridge Wells

TWBC Chief Executive Rodney Stone's attitude towards residents

Bizzarely, 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.

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