STATEMENT OF COMMON GROUND
IN RESPECT OF APPEAL BY
CREST HOMES (SOUTH EAST) LIMITED AND SOUTHGATE DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
CONCERNING THE REDEVELOPMENT OF TELEPHONE HOUSE,
CHURCH ROAD, TUNBRIDGE WELLS, KENT.

LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY REFERENCE: TW/00/01474/FUL
PLANNING INSPECTORATE REFERENCE: APP/M2270/A/00/1054946


The 'Statement of Common Ground' is a written Statement prepared jointly by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) and the appellant. Its purpose is to set out the agreed factual information about the proposal. It is produced in parallel with the Proofs of Evidence and there is a strict mandatory timetable for submission to the Inspectorate. In essence the 'Common Ground' is defined by what is not in the Council's Statement of Case, which in turn flows from the reasons for refusal of an application.
In the Telephone House case, officers did not consult with Members prior to agreeing to the Statement of Common Ground. They had not even informed the chairman of Western Area Planning Committee, who realised too late, that the points which he and Members thought had been integrated in the Grounds for Refusal, were 'negotiated out'.


CONTENTS


1.0 Introduction - Page 1

2.0 The Site and Surrounding Area - Page 2

3.0 Site's Former Planning History - Page 4

4.0 The Details of the Appeal Proposals - Page 7

5.0 Relevant Planning Policies - Page 16

6.0 Matters Agreed Between the Parties as Acceptable in Principle - Page 18



SCHEDULE OF CORE DOCUMENTS


1) Site Location Plan confirming extent of Conservation Area, details of surrounding road network, and location of listed buildings in Church Road and York Road.

2) Listed Building citations for Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Arts Centre, 40 and 42 York Road, 11-29 Church Road and 14-30 Church Road.

3) Conservation Area Appraisal - November 2000.

4) Plan 9896/P/4 agreed set of illustrative viewpoints from which the appeal site should be assessed.

5) SW/1 /62/303 - Erection of Telephone House

6) TW/74/0785 - Outline application for extension to Telephone House.

7) TW/75/0993 - Application for consent to demolish 23 and 25 York Road.

8) TW/77/0064 - Application for consent to demolish 23 and 25 York Road.

9) TW/80/0374 - Demolition of 23 & 25 York Road to provide access to Telephone House and its proposed extension.

10) TW/80/0375 - Proposed extension to Telephone House.

11) TW/81 /1182 - Application for consent to demolish 23 and 25 York Road.

12) TW/82/0448 - Additional parking facilities and fenced enclosure, pursuant to Condition (2) of TW/81 /1182.

13) The decision notice associated with applications TW/99/02211 and TW/99/0227.

14) Statements in support of application TW/00/1474 when submitted on 13 July 2000 - including townscape analysis (bound separately).

15) Letter dated 6 September 2000 from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

16) Letter dated 18 September 2000 from Barton Willmore Partnership revising application and plans.

17) Letter dated 19 September 2000 from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

18) Letter dated 27 September 2000 from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

19) Letter dated 3 October 2000 from Barton Willmore Partnership.

20) Report as considered at the Western Area Planning Committee meeting on 18 October 2000.

21) Letter dated 17 October from Barton Willmore Partnership.

22) Decision Notice.

23) A3 binder of appeal drawings - As refused (bound separately).

24) Schedule of meetings and correspondence between the Local Planning Authority and the appellant, both prior to submission and during the course of the determination of the appeal proposals.

25) Crest Homes' Minutes of the meeting between Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Crest Homes dated 4 February 2000.

26) Letter from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to Crest Homes dated 22 March 2000 in respect of the meeting of 10 March 2000.

27) Letter from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to Crest Homes dated 12 June 2000.

28) Sutters Partnership's Minutes of meeting between Crest Homes, Sutters.

Partnership, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and the Civic Society - 2 August 2000.

29) Sutters Partnership's Minutes of meeting between Crest Homes, Sutters Partnership, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and the Civic Society - 17 August 2000.

30) Kent Structure Plan, Third Review 1996 (bound separately).

31) Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan 1996 (bound separately).

32) Tunbridge Wells Borough 2000 + Local Plan Review 2001-2011 (bound separately).

33) Kent Design 2000 (bound separately).

[NB: The plans referred to in documents 16 and 19 were forwarded with the original appeal documents and referred to as items 4 and 7 of volume 2 of the enclosures]


1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 This statement has been prepared by Barton Willmore Planning Partnership in consultation with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council pursuant to the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedures) (England) Rules 2000. The purpose of this statement is to establish those areas where common ground exists between the appellants (Crest Homes [South East] Limited and Southgate Developments Limited) and the local planning authority.

1.2 The statement relates to an appeal by Crest Homes (South East) Limited and Southgate Developments Limited against the decision of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to refuse to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of Telephone House (formerly known as Syncordia House) so as to accommodate forty-three apartments with associated basement level car parking and landscaping.

1.3 This statement will seek to address the following issues:
a) The description of the site and surrounding area;
b) The site's former planning history;
c) The details of the appeal proposals, the determination of the appeal proposals and the plans to which the appeal relates;
d) Relevant planning policies as contained in the national government guidance (PPGs and Circulars), The Kent Structure Plan 1996, and the Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan 1996.
e) Those elements of the proposed development which are agreed by the Local Planning Authority as being acceptable to them, and upon which evidence will not be contested.

2. THE SITE AND SURROUNDING AREA

2.1 The appeal site comprises approximately 0.307 hectares (0.76 acres) and is situated between Church Road (to the south) and York Road (to the north). Both Church Road and York Road are located to the west of Mount Pleasant Road, one of the main thoroughfares north - south through Tunbridge Wells linking the primary retail areas of Royal Victoria Place/Calverley Road to the north and The Pantiles to the south. Church Road is also a primary distributor, linking Mount Pleasant Road to the east with London Road and Mount Ephraim to the west.

2.2 The site location plan enclosed as core document 1 identifies the appeal site within the context of the surrounding area, including the boundaries of the Conservation Area within which it is located. The site location plan also identifies the principal roads in the locality, and those listed buildings located in the vicinity of the appeal site. These include Trinity House to the east of the site on York Road, 40 and 42 York Road (to the north of the appeal site), 11 to 29 Church Road (to the south of the site), Trinity Arts Centre/Holy Trinity Church (to the east of the site on Church Road, separated from the appeal site by a commercial building), 1 Rose Walk to the south of Church Road opposite the appeal site, and numbers 14 to 30 Church Road to the west of the appeal site. Copies of the listed building citations, and Conservation Area Appraisal (Nov 2000) are enclosed as core documents 2 and 3.

2.3 The appeal site is occupied by a five storey plus basement, concrete framed office building constructed in the 1960s. Telephone House is described in the Council's Conservation Area Appraisal as a major intrusion, "its slab like mass offers a crude roofline compared with the delicacy and interest of the gables and chimneys of earlier buildings, and its mechanical elevations have none of the human scale modulation of its neighbours". It is agreed that Telephone House obscures views of Holy Trinity Church (Trinity Arts Centre) from Mount Ephraim.

2.4 Although currently vacant, the building's authorised use falls within Use Class B1. The principal elevation of the existing building is in Church Road, the land to the rear (off York Road) being primarily open in character, and used for surface level parking. The number of vehicles that can be accommodated within this car park, is not however agreed between the parties. The existing building extends almost the whole width of the site on the Church Road frontage, and extends back into the site northward with a narrow wing to form a T shaped building. Overall, the building is approximately 19m high measured from ground level. It is significantly higher than the buildings situated either side.

2.5 The ground level of the site falls from north to south, with an overall difference in levels of approximately 3m between the two road frontages measured midway across the site.

2.6 The site is located close to the town centre, and is within walking distance of both the main rail interchange and bus services on Mount Pleasant Road. The surrounding area is of mixed character, Church Road encompassing a variety of commercial and residential uses, whilst York Road to the north is predominantly residential in nature comprising a mix of flats and single dwelling houses.

2.7 The topography of the surrounding area is such that the building on the appeal site is clearly visible from Mount Ephraim to the west, and between existing buildings from Mount Pleasant to the east. A plan confirming the agreed viewpoints from which the appeal site should be assessed is attached at core document 4.

3. THE SITE'S PLANNING HISTORY

3.1 Planning permission was granted for the erection of Telephone House in 1962 (SW/1/62/303 refers). Subsequently, outline planning permission for the extension of Telephone House was granted in August 1971 (SW/1/70/382 refers), whilst the period for submission of the reserved matters was extended by virtue of Application TW/74/0785 as granted in February 1975. The Reserved Matters Application was not however submitted, and on this basis, applications for the demolition of 23 and 25 York Road as submitted in 1975 and 1977 (TW/75/0993 and TW/77/0064), were both refused pending a permanent scheme for the redevelopment of the site.

3.2 Whilst the outline application granted in 1975 expired in 1978, a fully detailed application for the extension of the existing offices was submitted in 1980 (TW/80/0375 refers). This proposal encompassed an extension to Telephone House that incorporated new building works within the entirety of the site so as to provide an entirely new frontage onto York Road. The proposals provided for a three storey office building above a semi basement car park of 101 spaces, that was accessed off York Road. Planning permission was granted for this extension in 1982, subject to a legal agreement requiring provision of additional parking facilities both during construction and after completion of the development at the post office/BTs other site in the town at Culverden Park Road. At the same time permission was also granted for the demolition of 23 and 25 York Road (TW/80/0384).

3.3 A review of the planning history of the Culverden Park Road site has revealed a letter from Drivas Jonas advising that work on the implementation of TW/80/375 had commenced by virtue of the fact that foundation trenches had been dug. In addition to the above, it is noted that in determining an application for the redevelopment of the Culverden Park Road site in 1988 (TW/88/0340), the local authority sought to gain the post office/BT's agreement to the revocation of the 1982 consent to the extension of Telephone House.

3.4 The consents for the redevelopment of Culverden Park were not implemented, and further work has not proceeded upon the implementation of the 1982 consent for the extension to Telephone House.

3.5 Consent for the demolition of 23 and 25 York Road (TW/80/0374) was granted on 6 August 1980. The consent was subject to a condition that demolition should only take place as part of a continuous programme of work for the development of the site of 23 and 25 York Road and adjacent land in the same ownership. The post office (who were the owners at that time) were concerned as to the dangerous condition of 23 and 25 York Road and so made a further application (TW/81/1182) for the demolition of 23 and 25 York Road before work could commence on a continuous programme of development. That application was granted consent on 31 December 1981, subject to condition (2) requiring the site to be laid out in accordance with a scheme to be submitted to the Local Planning Authority. A planning application (TW/82/0448) was submitted on 16 April 1982 to allow parking on the site of Number 23 and 25 York Road together with a fence along the York Road frontage pursuant to condition (2) of TW/81/01182. The scheme submitted as part of application TW/82/0448 shows a line of new trees to be planted along the York Road frontage. The application was granted permission on 16 June 1982 subject to a further Condition (2) that the landscaping should be maintained to the satisfaction of the local planning authority for a period of ten years. The trees on the York Road frontage now are the subject of that landscaping scheme.

3.6 Given the implications of the planning history, details of both the original consent, the subsequent outline consent, together with the consents for the demolition of 23 and 25 York Road, and the ultimate application for the extension to Telephone House and temporary parking facilities are enclosed as Core Documents 5-12 inclusive.

3.7 Of direct relevance to this appeal, is the local planning authority's decision to refuse to grant planning permission in January 2000 for demolition of the existing building and provision of forty-two flats. The application (TW/99/02211) consisted of a four storey block of flats fronting Church Road, and two three storey blocks fronting York Road, the larger one having accommodation in the roof space. Parking was provided at basement/semi-basement level, and comprised forty spaces in total, accessed from York Road. An additional six spaces were provided for visitors, accessed from Church Road. The application was refused under delegated powers on the basis that:

1. "The proposals would have a significant adverse impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area by virtue of its scale, massing, roofscape form, spatial characteristics, elevational treatment and building line. It would therefore be contrary to policies WK2, ENV15, and ENV17 of The Kent Structure Plan 1996 and policies EN1(2), ENS, and EN6 of The Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan Adopted 1996."

2. "The proposal would have an adverse impact on the setting of the listed buildings in York Road and Church Road and would, therefore, be contrary to policy EN19 of The Kent Structure Plan 1996 and policy ENS of The Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan Adopted 1996."

3. "The proposed Block 2 would have a overbearing impact on the amenities of 27 York Road; the east facing elevation of the proposed Block 3 would have an unsatisfactory relationship with the existing building to the east, resulting in a lower level of privacy and overbearing effect; and the close proximity of both Blocks to York Road would have an overbearing impact on the residential amenities of the dwellings opposite. The proposal is therefore contrary to policy EN1(1) of The Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan 1996."

4. "The proposal would involve the removal of significant trees which would be contrary to policy EN1(3) of the Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan 1996."

3.8 Notwithstanding the above however, Conservation Area Consent was granted for the demolition of the existing building (TW/99/0227) subject to the condition that:
"The building shall not be demolished before a contract for the carrying out of the work for the redevelopment of the site has been made and planning permission has been granted for the redevelopment for which the contract provides."
Reason - To ensure that the demolition is carried out as a continuous operation with the redevelopment of the site.

3.9 Copies of the relevant decision notices are attached at core document 13.

4. THE DETAILS OF THE APPEAL PROPOSALS

4.1 The planning application to which this appeal relates was submitted to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council on 13th July 2000. It was accompanied by a detailed planning statement (including design, sunlight and daylight statements - core document 14) and drawing numbers:


Drawing No. Description of DrawingRevision No.
8444/S1.01Site Contextual Plan and Layout PlanA
8444/S1.02Site Survey Plan with LevelsA
8444/S1.03Existing Site Streetscape Elevations
8444/S1.04Existing Streetscape Elevations Opposite Site
8444/S1 .05Existing Site Contextual Sections
8444/1 .01Site (Roof) Plan - Key Reference Levels/SectionsA
8444/1 .02General Arrangement Plans Level 0A
8444/1 .03General Arrangement Plans Level +1A
8444/1 .05General Arrangement Plans Level +3A
8444/1 .06General Arrangement Plans Level +4A
8444/1 .07General Arrangement Plans Level -1 - ParkingA
8444/1 .08Key Reference Plan - Highways and Car Parking
8444/1 .09Key Reference Plan - Landscape Outline ProposalA
8444/2.01Proposed Site Streetscape Elevations
8444/2.02Proposed Site Contextual Sections
8444/3.01Sections A - A + B - B North to South Site Sections
8444/3.02Sections C - C + D - D North to South Site Sections
8444/3.03Sections E - E + F - F East to West Site Sections
8444/4.01Elevations: Block A; Front Church Road
8444/4.02Elevations: Block A; Rear Elevation
8444/4.03Elevations: York Road Front Elevations and Block B: Side Elevations
8444/4.04Elevations: York Road Rear Elevations and Block D: side Elevations
8444/4.05Elevations: Block C: Front, Rear and Side Elevations
Right of Light Sections 501 G to G, and 502 H to H.

4.2 The application envisages the demolition of the former B.T building (Telephone House), and the redevelopment of the site so as to accommodate a total of 43 units, situated in 4 blocks, with underground parking for 38 vehicles, accessed from York Road.

4.3 A 4 storey building is proposed on the Church Road frontage with a set back 5th floor, accommodating a total of 16 two bed and 2 three/four bed units. The building is designed to be contemporary in appearance, utilising a high level of glazing. It has an overall height of 13.2 metres to the parapet and 15.9 metres to the ridge.

4.4 On the York Road frontage it is proposed to introduce two new blocks, separated by the entrance to the mews. The western block (Block B) is 4 storeys high. This will accommodate a total of 8 private two bed units, 5 two bed and 3 three bed properties, whilst Block D to the east is only 3 storeys high and incorporates 7 two bed and 1 one bed affordable housing units. Like Block B, Block D is of a traditional design with brick gable ended elevations, slate roofs and timber painted windows. Both buildings are set back from the pavement on a similar alignment to 27 York Road and Trinity House, the set back allowing for the introduction of roadside planting as part of the development proposals.

4.5 Within the internal site area, the application incorporates a further Block C, comprising 3 storey mews properties, accommodating 9 two bedroom private apartments, set down within excavated site levels.

4.6 At basement level there is parking provision for 38 vehicles, accessed from York Road. A further 4 spaces are provided at surface level off the entrance to the basement level car park to accommodate the needs of those living in the affordable housing units on the site, whilst 4 visitor spaces are provided at surface level fronting Church Road.

4.7 Following receipt of the application, and various informal meetings and discussions, the local planning authority wrote to the appellant's agents on 6th September (core document 15) seeking clarification on:
1. The basis of The Sunlight and Daylight Report;
2. The allocation of the parking spaces, details of the existing parking layout and number of spaces provided on site, and alterations to the plans increasing the width of the footway along the access road;
3. Details of the external treatment of the buildings and details of the roofscape, including clarification as to the need to additional plant, vents, and other structures;
4. The arrangements for the maintenance to the flank wall of 27 York Road;
5. Details of the size and species of the proposed planting as set out in the landscaping plans.

4.8 In addition, the letter also expressed concern about the implications of Block C on the amenities of the occupants of Clarence Mews.

4.9 Having regard to the local planning authority's letter of the 6th September, the appellant submitted further additional information by letter dated 18th September (core document 16), incorporating drawing numbers:


Drawing No.Description of Drawing Revision No.
8444/1.01Site (Roof) Plan - Key Reference Levels/SectionsB
8444/1 .02General Arrangement Plans Level 0B
8444/1 .03General Arrangement Plans Level +1C
8444/1 .04General Arrangement Plans Level +2C
8444/1 .05General Arrangement Plans Level +3B
8444/1 .06Genera! Arrangement Plans Level +4B
8444/1 .07General Arrangement Plans Level -1 - ParkingB
8444/2.03Proposed Streetscape Elevations
BLA.EL-01Block A Front ElevationA
BLA.EL-02Block A Rear ElevationA
BLA.EL03Block A Side ElevationA
BLB.EL01Block B Front ElevationB
BLB.EL-02Block B Side ElevationA
BLB.EL-03Block B Rear ElevationB
BLC.EL-01Block C Front ElevationA
BLC.EL-02Block C Side ElevationB
BLC.EL-03Block C Rear ElevationC
BLD.EL-01Block D Front ElevationA
BLD.EL-02Block D Rear ElevationA
BLD.EL-03Block D Side (West) ElevationA
BLD.EL-04Block D Side (East) ElevationA
923/001Landscape Plan
CH44/SHA/CAD13Shadow Diagram

4.10 Concurrently with the submission of this additional information, and in accordance with a request made at a meeting with the local planning authority on 14th September, the local planning authority wrote to the appellant's agents on 19th September setting out the authority's position vis a vis the provision of recreational open space (core document 17). Thereafter, on 27th September, the local planning authority requested further clarification as to the substance of the amended plans (core document 18), and in particular expressed concern at:
1. The means of refuse storage;
The extent of the gap between the two projecting areas of the buildings on Church Road, and the means by which this should be increased so as to ensure that the building is read as two independent buildings when viewed from Church Road;
The amount and area of unbroken glass on the Church Road elevation, details as to how the windows would be opened, and the mechanism for cleaning said windows;
4. The colour scheme for the rear elevation of Block A;
5. The extent to which all the proposed materials had been clarified;
6. The height of Block A, and the implications of this on the setting and appearance of adjacent listed buildings.

4.11 A further letter was sent on 28th September 2000 enclosing a video animation of the development and an A3 reference site/location plan no. 1.10.

4.12 On the basis of the local planning authority's letter of 27th September, additional information was submitted to the local planning authority by cover of letter dated 3rd October (core document 19), incorporating further amended plans:

Drawing No.Description of DrawingRevision No.
8444/1.07.Arrangement Plans Level -1 Parking.C
8444/3.04.Sections: Lift Shaft Sections Blocks A, B & C.
8444/4.06.Block A Elevations, Colour Rendered, Shadow Modelled and Annotated.
8444/4.07.Block B Elevations, Colour Rendered, Shadow Modelled and Annotated.
8444/4.08.Block C Elevations, Colour Rendered, Shadow Modelled and Annotated.
8444/4.09.Block D Elevations, Colour Rendered, Shadow Modelled and Annotated.

4.13 On the basis of this information, the appeal proposals were reported to the Western Area Planning Committee meeting on 18th October 2000 (core document 20) with a recommendation that:

"The applicant be informed that the committee would be minded:

(i) To refuse permission for the reasons set out in paragraph iii unless within six months of being invited to do so the freehold owner enters into a binding agreement to cover the matters set out below under Section 106 of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended by The Planning and Compensation Act 1991, in a form to be prepared by the Borough Secretary and Solicitor in which case he shall be authorised to conclude such an agreement:

1) To secure the payment of an agreed contribution towards provision of youth and adult recreation open space;
2) To secure the provision of the eight flats in Block D as affordable housing in accordance with the Borough Council's policy;
3) To pay the council's reasonable legal costs for the preparation and completion of this agreement.
ii In the event of such an agreement being made, the planning and building control services manager shall be authorised to grant planning permission subject to the following conditions (of which there were seventeen); and,
iii If the applicant shall fail to enter such an agreement, the planning and building control services manager shall be authorised to refuse planning permission for the following reasons;
1) The proposal does not accord with the provisions of local plan policy R2 in that it does not contain a means of providing for adult/youth recreational space; and
2) The proposal does not accord with the provisions of local plan policy H6 in that it does not contain any provision for affordable housing."

4.14 Following publication of the committee report, the appellant's agents wrote to the local planning authority on 17 October (core document 21) to:
a) Reserve the right to speak at the committee meeting;
b) to ask that condition 17 be amended from that proposed in the report to the Committee as it would not be possible during the construction phase to access the site solely from Church Road given the location of Block A on the Church Road frontage.

4.15 Notwithstanding their Officer's recommendations or the appellant's comments at the committee meeting, Members of the Western Area Committee decided to refuse planning permission for the redevelopment of Telephone House for the following reasons:
1. The proposals would have a significant adverse impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area by virtue of its scale, massing, roofscape, form, spatial characteristics, elevational treatment and building lines. It would, therefore, be contrary to Policies WK2, ENV15 and ENV 17 of The Kent Structure Plan 1996 and Policies EN1(2), ENS and EN6 of The Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan Adopted 1996.
2. The proposal would have an adverse impact on the setting of listed buildings in Church Road and would, therefore, be contrary to Policy ENV19 of The Kent Structure Plan 1996 and Policy EN3 of The Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan Adopted 1996.

4.16 A copy of the decision notice is attached at core document 14.

4.17 For the sake of clarity the plans to which the appeal relate, are:

Drawing No.Description of DrawingRevision No.
8444/S1.01Site Contextual Plan and Layout PlanA
8444/S1.02Site Survey Plan with LevelsA
8444/S1.03Existing Site Streetscape Elevations
8444/S1.04Existing Streetscape Elevations Opposite Site
8444/S1.05Existing Site Contextual Sections.
923/001Landscape Proposals
8444/1 .01Site (Roof) Plan - key Reference Levels/SectionB
8444/1 .02General Arrangement Plans Level 0B
8444/1 .03General Arrangement Plans +1C
8444/1 .04General Arrangement Plans +2C
8444/1 .05General Arrangement Plans +3B
8444/1 .06General Arrangement Plans +4B
8444/1 .07General Arrangement Plans Level -1 ParkingC
8444/1 .08Key Reference Plan (Highways)A
8444/1 .09Key Reference Plan (Landscape Outline Proposal)A
8444/2,01Proposed Site Streetscape Elevations
8444/2.02Proposed Site Contextual Sections
8444/2.03Proposed Streetscape Elevations
8444/3.01Sections A-A and B-B North-South Site Elevations
8444/3.02Sections C-C and D-D North-South Site Sections
8444/3.03Sections E-E and F-F East-West Site Sections
8444/3.04Sections Lift Shaft Sections Blocks A, B, & C
8444/5.01Sections G-G Daylight Study
8444/5.02Sections H-H Daylight Study
8444/4.06Block A Elevations, Colour Rendered, Shadow Modelled and Annotated
8444/4.07Block B Elevations, Colour Rendered, Shadow Modelled and Annotated
8444/4.08Block C Elevations, Colour Rendered, Shadow Modelled and Annotated
8444/4.09Block D Elevations, Colour Rendered, Shadow Modelled and Annotated

4.18 The list of the appeal plans differs from that set out in the Local Planning Authority's decision notice, as drawing nos. 102 C and 106 C were never issued, the BL schedule was superseded by drawing nos. 4.06 - 4.09 inclusive, and the axonometrics were superseded.

4.19 A full set of the plans to which the appeal relates (A3 size) are attached at core document 23.

4.20 The appeal proposals were, as evidenced by the above, the subject of considerable discussions between the appellants and the Local Planning Authority during the determination process. In addition, it is also acknowledged that the appellants sought to address any concerns raised by the Civic Society. Thus meetings were held with the Civic Society and the Local Planning Authority to discuss the proposals during the course of the determination of the application. These discussions contributed to the evolution of the appeal proposals.

4.21 It is also acknowledged between the parties that following the Local Planning Authority's decision to refuse to grant planning permission for the demolition of Telephone House and the erection of 42 flats (TW/99/02211 refers), there were a number of meetings between the appellants and the Local Planning Authority prior to the submission of the current appeal proposals, wherein the principles driving the proposed development were established, and the basis for the submission of the appeal proposals discussed. Details of the meetings, prior to and during the determination of the appeal proposals are attached at core document 24. Copies of the relevant correspondence relating to these meetings are as set out in Crest Homes' minutes of 4 February, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's letter of 22 March (in respect of the meeting on 10 March), and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's letter of 12 June (core documents 25-27 inclusive). Crest Homes' notes of the meetings between the appellant's architect, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and the Civic Society, as held at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's offices on 2 August 2000, and 17 August 2000 are also enclosed at core documents 28 and 29).

5.0 RELEVANT PLANNING POLICIES

5.1 It is agreed that the following policy documents are germane to the determination of this appeal:
· RPG9 (published 1994), and Revised Draft RPG9 (published December 2000);
· PPG1 (1997), in particular paragraphs 7,13-19, 24, 32, 60 and 61, and Annexe A;
· PPG3 (Housing - March 2000), in particular paragraphs 22, 23, 30, 31, 35, 38, 46, 54, 56, 58, 60 and 61;
· PPG13 (Transport - March 1994), in particular paragraphs 3.2 and 3.3, and the revised draft PPG 13 (October 1999), paragraphs 10 and 11;
· PPG15 (Planning in the Historic Environment), in particular paragraphs 2.16, 2.17, 4.17, 4.18, 4.19 and 4.20.

5.2 In addition to the above, it is confirmed that the Statutory Development Plan for the area comprises the Kent Structure Plan Third Review (1996) and the Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan (1996). Those policies contained within the Kent Structure Plan that are agreed to be germane to the determination of this appeal are:
· Policy S1 (Sustainable Development);
· Policy S2 (Quality of Environment);
· Policy S6 (Housing Provision);
· Policy S8 (Development in Town Centres);
· Policy WK2 (West Kent)
· Policy ENV15 (Built Environment Conserved and Enhanced);
· Policy ENV16 (Use of Land in Urban Areas);
· Policy ENV17 (Development in Conservation Areas);
· Policy ENV19 (Development Affecting the Setting of Listed Buildings);
· Policy H3 (Housing in Urban Areas); and
· Policy H7 (Dwelling Sizes and Affordable Housing).

5.3 Copies of these policies are attached at core document 30.

5.4 Similarly, in reviewing the Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan, the following policies are agreed to be germane to the determination of this appeal: · Policy EN1 (General Development Criteria); · Policy ENS (Setting of Listed Buildings); · Policy EN4 (Demolition of Unlisted Buildings in Conservation Areas); · Policy ENS (Development in Conservation Areas); · Policy ENS (Impact on Skyline); · Policy H6 (Affordable Housing); · Policy H7 (Element of Small Dwellings in Housing Schemes); · Policy H9 (Residential Development in Tunbridge Wells); · Policy TP1 (Road Hierarchy); · Policy VP1 (County Parking Standards); · Policy VP2 (Allocation of Disabled Spaces); and · Policy R2 (Recreational Open Space).

5.5 Copies of these policies are attached at core document 31.

5.6 In addition to the above, it is also agreed that the Tunbridge Wells Borough 2000+ Local Plan Review 2001-2011 (as published in October 1998) and Kent Design (2000) are also material to the determination of this appeal (core documents 32 and 33).

6.0 MATTERS AGREED BETWEEN THE PARTIES AS ACCEPTABLE IN PRINCIPLE

6.1 Following discussions between the appellants and the Local Planning Authority, and having regard to the contents of the Case Officer's report to the Western Area Sub-Committee Meeting of 18 October 2000 (core document 20), it has been agreed that:
1) The existing building detracts from the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and setting of nearby Listed buildings;
2) On the basis of 1 above, the local authority welcome the principle of the site's redevelopment;
3) There is no objection in principle to the site's redevelopment for residential purposes;
4) There is no objection to the loss of the site's use for employment purposes;
5) Notwithstanding the above, it is acknowledged that the existing building on the site could be brought back into use as office accommodation without the need for further planning permission, and that said use would be unfettered by controls over hours of use or number of employees;
6) The sites location relative to the town centre, and public transport facilities is such that any redevelopment should seek to maximise the use of the site in accordance with the requirement of paragraph 58 of PPG3. Within this context, it is acknowledged that the need to maximise the use of urban land has to be balanced against the need to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and any other material considerations;
7) The appeal site accords with the sequential test advocated in PPG3, i.e. that it is a sustainable location for future residential development, given its juxtaposition to the town centre and associated public transport interchanges;
8) The proposed development would contribute towards the council's housing land supply as it would constitute a large incidental housing site, (a windfall site), which would reduce the pressure on the local authority to release greenfield sites as part of the Local Plan Review.
9) Given the site's location relative to the town centre, and associated public transport interchanges, the level of parking provision at one space per private unit and 0.5 spaces per affordable unit has been acknowledged as acceptable by the Council's highway manager. It is agreed that the location of the parking facilities at basement level is preferable to the existing surface parking arrangements, and would thus be of positive benefit to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area;
10) The traffic generation associated with the proposed development could be less than that which could have been generated by Telephone House when fully occupied as an office. It is also agreed between the parties that the principle of the introduction of an access to serve the proposed development from York Road is acceptable in highway terms;
11) On the basis of the information supplied by the appellant (in particular their sunlight and daylight consultant - Schatunowski Brooks), the Local Planning Authority are satisfied that the appellants have demonstrated that a refusal on the grounds of impact on sunlight and daylight would not be warranted;
12) The appeal proposals do not justify refusal due to loss of privacy and amenity of local residents.
13) Notwithstanding the concerns expressed by English Heritage, the Local Planning Authority has no objection in principle to the relationship between the proposed development (Block B) and the flank elevation at 27 York Road;
14) The principal concerns in respect of the impact of the proposed development on the setting of listed buildings relate to those listed buildings situated in Church Road, and the associated relationship of Block A to these buildings;
15) There is no objection in principle to the introduction of a Mews type development within a backland location on this site;
16) In addition to the above, and subject to the completion of a satisfactory Section 106 Agreement, it is agreed that the level of affordable housing provision (comprising 8 fiats within Block D) accords with the requirements of H7 of the Kent Structure Plan and H6 of the Tunbridge Wells Borough Plan, together with Circular 6/98. Similarly, subject to the imposition of a satisfactory legal agreement, it is agreed that there is no requirement upon the appellant to provide an element of recreational space within the site for youth and adult recreation, rather this provision can be dealt with by way of a contribution in accordance with the aims and objectives of Policy R2 of the Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan;
17) The appellants are happy to agree to the list of recommended conditions within the Local Authority's Pre-Inquiry Statement 1-16 inclusive. The appellants do not however agree to the recommended condition 17 which will be a matter for consideration at the Inquiry.
18) Finally, notwithstanding the comments raised by Kent County Council, it is agreed that, given the policies contained within the Development Plan, there is not a need incumbent upon the appellant to make a contribution to educational provision in association with the appeal proposals.


Back to Paul Huxley’s speech at the Public Inquiry, May 2001

Telephone House Appeal : Crest Nicholson / BT's Southgate Developments verus TWBC

The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the development on Telephone House site, Church Road/York Road, Tunbridge Wells.