25.03.2003 - Letter to TWBC Chief Executive Rodney Stone
Request to answer 1 question of the many unanswered questions


THE TELEPHONE HOUSE NEIGHBOURS ASSOCIATION
32 York Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells
TN1 1JY

e-mail: telephonehouse@aol.com
internet: http://uk.geocities.com/telephonehouse

Rodney Stone Esq
The Chief Executive
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Town Hall TN1 1RS

25 March 2003

Dear Mr Stone

Telephone House Development, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells

Telephone House Appeal
[ Public Inquiry May 2001 - Announcement of Inspector's Appeal Decisions July 2001 ]

We have written many fruitless letters to you in the last 2 years asking questions about the conduct of you and your fellow employees at our Council, to which you have steadfastly refused to respond.

For the time being we would ask you now to answer ONE question of the many: - number (5) of our letter to you, dated 29th August 2001:
" What is the monetary loss to the rate-payers resulting from the Costs award to the appellants ( Crest Nicholson / BTís Southgate Developments ) ? "

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely
Katherine Quinnell
For and on behalf of the Committee of
The Telephone House Neighbours Association





Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's solicitors have been negotiating with the appellant of Telephone House since July 2001 !

What is the nature of the negotiations between TWBC and Crest Nicholson ?
What can possibly be demanded and what is offered ?



Response from Rodney Stone, Chief Executive, TWBC - 31 March 2003


TUNBRIDGE WELLS BOROUGH COUNCIL
Corporate Services
Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS

Our ref: RJS/ALI
Date: 31 March 2003

TELEPHONE HOUSE DEVELOPMENT

Thank you for your letter of the 25 March 2003. The answer to your question is that I do not know as the figure is still a matter of negotiation between our solicitors and Crest Nicholson.

Yours sincerely
Rodney Stone
Chief Executive





TUNBRIDGE WELLS BOROUGH COUNCIL WESTERN AREA PLANNING COMMITTEE
7 May 2003

Members: Councillors Mrs Paulson-Ellis (Chairman), Miss Barber-Hughes (Vice-Chairman), Baker, Barrington-King, Mrs Cobbold, Clary, Crawford, Ekins-Daukes ( Cllr. for the Culverden Ward - with the Telephone House site ), Harrison, Jolley, Mrs Lewis, Mills, Patterson, Poile, Scholes, Mrs Thomas, Ward.

THE AGENDA - EXEMPT ITEMS

It is proposed that, pursuant to section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the next item of buisiness on the grounds that it may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the Act, by virtue of the particular paragraphs shown on the agenda and on the attached reports.

8. Joint Reports of the Borough Secretary and Solicitor [ Martin Harris ] and Head of Planning and Building Control [ Nigel Eveleigh ]
(C) Telephone House, Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, (Paragraph 14) (WAP/02/05/09) (pW41)



TUNBRIDGE WELLS BOROUGH COUNCIL WESTERN AREA PLANNING COMMITTEE
7 May 2003

Members: Councillors Mrs Paulson-Ellis (Chairman), Miss Barber-Hughes (Vice-Chairman), Baker, Mrs Cobbold, Clary, Crawford, Mrs Lewis, Mills, Patterson, Poile, Scholes, Mrs Thomas.
NOT ATTENDING : Ekins-Daukes ( Cllr. for the Culverden Ward, with the Telephone House site ) - Harrison - Jolley - Ward - Barrington-King (apology)

MINUTES

TELEPHONE HOUSE, CHURCH ROAD, TUNBRIDGE WELLS

WAP 117/02
The Borough Secretary and Solicitor and the Head of Planning and Building Control Services presented a joint report (WAP/02/05/09 - 9 May 2002) which sought Members' agreement to negotiate a settlement to the developers' claim for costs arising out of an appeal against the Council's decision to refuse planning permission for the development of the site at Telephone House, Church Road, Tunbridge Wells.

Members noted that on 18 October 2000, the Committee voted to refuse an application for the development of the above site consisting of the demolition to the existing building and the erection of 43 flats with basement level parking. The application was subject of an appeal to the Secretary of State. A public inquiry was held in May 2001 and the Inspector allowed the appeal and granted planning permission for the development. The inspector also ordered that the Council should pay the developers, Crest Homes (South East Ltd and Southgate Developments Ltd), the costs of the appeal proceedings. Following this decision the solicitors acting for the developers submitted their bills of costs.

Members noted that the developers had commenced formal Cost Assessment proceedings in the High Court. The hearing of the assessment proceedings is due to take place in July 2003 and the solicitor acting for the developers had indicated that they were prepared to negotiate their claim. Members agreed to the Borough Secretary and Solicitor entering into negotiations with the developers.

RESOLVED - That the Borough Secretary and Solicitor be authorised to attempt to negotiate a settlement of this matter under the terms set out in paragraph (4) of the report.


NOTE:
The Telephone House Public Inquiry was held 1-4 May 2001;
The Planning Inspector's appeal decision and cost decision were issued 3 July 2001.






What went wrong with the Telephone House Planning Applications ?
2001 - The uneasy questions to the Chief Executive Rodney Stone and other senior officers of TWBC
2003 - the questions are still unanswered - they are as intriguing as in 2001.

After the Public Inquiry, during summer/autumn 2001 - The Attitude of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's
Chief Executive and Director of Operational Services towards residents and rate payers

Could the Inspector's decisions have been challenged ?

Whom are we dealing with ? - The developers of Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells

The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the controversial planning permission of the high density development of Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1.