Kent Messenger Extra 15 February 2002 - LETTERS Page 32

Inquiry is necessary

Costs were awarded against Tunbridge Wells Borough Council by the planning inspector becaue of its "unreasonalbe behaviour".

For the fairness to those mentioned in your article it has to be said that the last of Crest's two applications was only handled by councillors of the Western Area Planning Committee.

The first application, now admitted by officers to have been similar to the second, was indeed refused at delegated level by officers. Strangely, officers changed their mind during the second pre-application period and supported the developer.

The grounds for refusal fo the second application, being at the centre of the inspector's decisions, were cobbled together out of those for the first. Regrettably, officers advised councillors to leave out those grounds which would have increased the chances for the coundil to win.

Councillor Price resigned shortly after the public inquiry in May 2001, where he spoke for the Western Area Planning Committee, the residents and 800 citizens of Tunbridge Wells, objecting to the scheme.

It therefore cannot be assumed that he resigned because of the inspector's decisions announced in July 2001, but as we know, he resigned because of the whole culture in the town hall and the lack of officers' cooperation and members' limited support.

Our association has asked the chief executive to explain the actions of his staff but he refuses to answer. We believe that an independent public inquiry is necessary to address all reasonable concerns.

Annemarie Topliss,
Secretary, The Telephone House Neighbours Association
Church Road
Tunbridge Wells

What went wrong with the Telephone House Planning Applications?
The uneasy questions to the Chief Executive Rodney Stone and other senior officers of TWBC

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's Internal Inquiry into the Telephone House Debacle

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