18.08.02 - Letter to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Planning and Building Control Services


THE TELEPHONE HOUSE NEIGHBOURS ASSOCIATION
37 Church Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells
TN1 1JT

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

Nigel Eveleigh, Esq
Head of Planning and Building Control Services
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Town Hall
Royal Tunbridge Wells

18 August 2002

Dear Mr Eveleigh

Telephone House - Scheme of Works submitted by Cala Homes (South) Limited

We are grateful to Cllr Bullock and yourself having facilitated a meeting between Cala Homes and the Telephone House Neighbours Association. The objective of the meeting (13.08.2002) was to allow residents to receive answers to their questions with regard to the Scheme of Works. THNA opposes the development in its present form and will continue to advertise the many flaws of its design.

We have studied the Scheme of Works submitted by Cala Homes and would like to raise some concerns we have. Apart from these, in some instances the wording of the Scheme is ambiguous and needs to be addressed.


PHASE 1: DEMOLITION

If subsequent principal changes were to be made to this Scheme of Works would respective Councillors and the THNA please be informed of and consulted about the intended changes. This would facilitate a better understanding of the works and harmonisation of communication, thus preventing any angry reaction by residents of being presented with faits accomplis.

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Dust Control, Bullet Point 3 [page 4]
Add: Broken windows have to be sealed

Dust Control, Bullet Point 4 [page 4]
Does Cala Homes have a written confirmation from the Water Authority that there is an adequate supply of water for

  1. damping down the site during demolition
  2. the needs of new residents of the development
without affecting the existing amenities of the residents?

Dust Control , Bullet Point 5 [page 4]
Note: CALA accepts full responsibility for dust escaping the site and entering surrounding houses. They are prepared in this event to pay for any damage caused.

Plant and Equipment [page 5]
Note: As the demolition is scheduled to start on York Road side (North flank of the building) heavy plant would be brought into York Road. Some of the plant weigh 60 tons.
Can guarantees been given that no structural damage to houses and their cellars will occur?
Have structural calculations been done?

Noise Intrusion Mitigation, Bullet Point 1 [page 5]
'perimeter hoarding' should be replaced with 'perimeter boarding to scaffolding'

Noise Intrusion Mitigation, Bullet Point 2 [page 5]
THNA believes more information should be given on traffic movements.
How many trucks are expected to leave the site loaded with demolition or excavation material?
Via which route will the trucks be guided through the town center?
How many lorries per day does CALA anticipate?

Access / Egress Arrangements, Bullet Point 2 [page 6]
Have submissions to Highways been done?
Will Highways consult residents?
Does Highways have the authority to license a developer to close roads and abolish parking if this is not in the interest of the public?

Access / Egress Arrangements, Bullet Point 3 [page 6]
Add: Egress for demolition is via Church Road. - Egress for demolition is not mentioned.

Access / Egress Arrangements, Bullet Point 5 [page 6]
- '...no demolition removal will be made from vehicles parked in York Road.'
This needs to be rephrased to give a very clear picture of what is meant. There is no mention where vehicles will be loaded. This needs to be amended.
- 'delivery of principal plant':
Note: As the demolition is scheduled to start on York Road side (North flank of the building) heavy plant has to be brought into York Road. Some of the plant weigh 60 tons.
Can guarantees been given that no structural damage to houses and their cellars will occur?
Have structural calculations been done?


PHASE 2: CONSTRUCTION

CALA confirmed their acquisition of No 27 York Road. Exact details about any integration of this building have to be given. The present occupiers told THNA that the developers intend to "pin into" No 27.

PHASE 2/3: SUPERSTRUCTURE

KEY ACTIVITIESrefer to phasing Diagram 2/3)

Superstructure, Bullet Point 1 [page 8]
'Pavement closure to south side of York Road across north boundary of site'.
Will fire engines still be able to access York Road fully?

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Plant and Equipment to be Used, Bullet Point 2 [page 9]
' ... use of a mobile crane to unload pre-cast units for Blocks B & D will be off York Road and will require road closures.'
This has simply to be rejected. Safety is at stake here and listed houses 40/42 are under serious threat. We doubt the legality of this operation as it is not in the interest of the public.

How much room will a crane of this kind require?
Will it effect access/egress for fire engines?
Can Cala ensure fire/ambulances will be able to access all houses on York Road?

Note: Cala Homes intend to put a crane in York Road to unload onto the site. Many houses have cellars or basement flats and Nos 40 and 42 have a cellar under their entire hall and stairwell.
If structural damage occurs to houses due to the heavy vehicles, crane etc, how and on what basis will Cala Homes compensate for such damage?
Is Cala Homes prepared to pay for structural surveys to be carried out to all houses in York Road before demolition?

Note: We understand no load bearing effects to the sides of York Road have been measured which will impact on the cellars under the pavements in particular.
How does Cala Homes propose to deal with this source of possible damage?

It is well known how big construction lorries drive all over the place and simply do not keep just to the road. How is Cala Homes going to safeguard the listed and privately owned York stone paving slabs in York Road which are an integral part of the house structures?
What measure is the TWBC instituting to safeguard these?

Temporary Accommodation and Storage, Bullet Point 2 [page 10]
Take out: 'York Road', so the houses opposite are not overlooked by the double stacked site accommodation.

Temporary Accommodation and Storage, Bullet Point 3 [page 10]
Mobile crane to position site accommodation
This has simply to be rejected. Safety is at stake here and listed houses 40/42 are under serious threat. We doubt the legality of this operation as it is not in the interest of the public - The only explanation THNA received is that unloading could not be done off the luff crane, as this would interrupt the workflow. This in itself is an incorrect statement as proper site sequencing and storage of materials on site would eliminate the need for the additional crane on York Road and allow the luff crane to be used to unload materials from York Road.

Noise Intrusion Mitigation, Bullet Point 8 [page 10]
Amend: No radios within the site

Access/Egress Arrangements, Bullet Points 5 & 7 [page 11]
Have submissions to Highways been done? Will Highways consult residents?
Does Highways have the authority to license a developer to close roads and abolish parking if this is not in the interest of the public?

Access/Egress Arrangements, Bullet Points 2 [page 12]
' ... use of a mobile crane . . . in Church Road . . will require road closures.'
This has simply to be rejected. Safety is at stake here. We doubt the legality of this operation as it is not in the interest of the public.


PHASE 3: INTERNAL FIT-OUT / LANDSCAPING

Is Condition 11) of the Inspector's Appeal Decision met? Did consultation take place?
The exact phrasing of condition 11) :
"No development shall take place until there has been submitted to and approved by the local planning authority a scheme of hard and soft landscaping, which shall include indications of all existing trees and hedgerows on the land, and details of any to be retained, together with measures for their protection in the course of development"
This condition leaves in our opinion enough room for interpretation and we still hope that CALA does not, as they told us at the meeting, start their presence on site with destroying the trees.

Access / Egress Arrangements, Bullet Point 3 [page 14]
Replace: 'car parking facilities' with car park facilities.

THNA would welcome a short paragraph to be inserted which states clearly that at no time shall site staff or site related personnel be allowed to park their vehicles in York Road.

NHBC Standard
Cala Homes advised that NHBC standard would be used for control purposes. Could this please be stated in the Scheme of Works?


SUMMARY

Are all other conditions of the Inspector met, and required submissions approved?
Can this be confirmed?

The Scheme of Works is not acceptable in its present form
Indicated ambiguities have to be addressed before it can be a binding document.

General

THNA is pleased that assurance was given by CALA that NO demolition or excavation material will be removed via York Road.

  1. Heavy plant movement in York Road is endangering properties. An opinion of structural engineers should be sought to analyse which maximum weight would be acceptable for this street.

  2. Closure of York Road to allow movement of a mobile crane on the road is simply unacceptable.
    Has Highways the power to close a road if this is not in the interest of the public?
    Does Highways need to consult prior to taking decisions which affect the amenities of residents?

  3. The abolishment of parking facilities in York Road should be avoided as it diminishes the amenities of residents. If it comes to an agreement that no heavy vehicle would enter the site via York Road there will be no need to interfere in the present parking arrangement.

  4. Will CALA provide for an assessment of structural conditions of houses affected by the development, so that if it comes to damages, claims can be easy dealt with?

The THNA welcomes Cala Homes' willingness to send a letter with contact numbers in case of problems / emergency to each resident.

Just as a matter of information, the THNA has made Cala Homes aware that they need to address the extant issue of rights of light.

Yours sincerely

Peter Connell
Consulting Architect
For The Telephone House Neighbours Assocation



Is CALA Homes really going ahead with THAT scheme?

The Telephone House Neighbours Association informs on CALA Homes (South) Development:
CALA Group acquired the controversial planning permission for the high density development of Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1, Kent.