The Telephone House Saga

Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1

Chronicle of events



construction of CALA Homes' estate in Tunbridge Wells, start May 2003

CONSTRUCTION - The Telephone House Estate [alias: Norfolk Grange]
Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells


23.05.2003
Is CALA Homes really going ahead with THAT scheme?
The uncompromising execution of the most controversial planning consent of Tunbridge Wells' recent history is now carried out by CALA Homes.
07.05.03
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents:
CALA Homes submit changes to the approved scheme of Works.
- This is yet another Scheme of Works. - It is CALA Homes 5th attempt to produce a Scheme of Works. - How could CALA Homes have failed to get it right the first time?

HISTORY:
CALA Homes Method Statements/Schemes of Works for the Demolition and Construction on the Telephone House site, Tunbridge Wells
  • Preliminary Scheme of Works March 2002 - not submitted to TWBC
  • 1st Scheme of Works filed 25 July 2002 - refused 9 September 2002
  • 2nd Scheme of Works filed 17 October 2002 - refused 25 November 2002
  • Appeal for 1st filed 5 November 2002 - withdrawn 23 December 2002 (same day as filing appeal for 2nd)
  • 3rd Scheme of Works filed 2 December 2002 - approved 24 Dec 2002
  • Appeal for 2nd filed 23 December 2002 - withdrawn 9 Jan 2003
06.05.03
CALA Homes indulge in territorial marking
TWBC announces CALA Homes' submission of a Planning Application for: ADVERTISEMENT (hoardings on poles - flagpoles - nameboards)
01.05.03
CALA Homes Construction Director Malcolm Baker, announces the start of the construction of their high density development of 43 flats with 8 social housing on Telephone House site : Tuesday 6 May 2003 - Site Manager is David Griffiths
22.03.03
MEETING : Committee Members and Association Members decide:
THNA will present its own case at the Public Local Inquiry and do a written representation concerning Policy H6(a), Telephone House, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells.
THNA will return the Inquiry Planning Questionnaire by 28 March 2003 - as requested by the Local Plan Programme Officer c/o Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Representations were submitted for the Local Plan 1st Deposit Copy in September 2001 and the Local Plan 2nd Deposit Copy, in December 2002
07.03.03
Policy H6(a) will be part of the Public Local Inquiry in 2003.
Bizzarely, Policy H6(a) allocated for Telephone House was identical to the two refused planning applications for the Telephone House development - 1st : refused at delegated officers level - 2nd: refused by the Councillors of the Western Area Planning Committee.
Policy H6(a) is the most controversial document, produced by the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, leading to the Telephone House Debacle.
17.02.03
The "monstrous" neighbour has been eradicated. - Maybe the size of the Telephone House development, Tunbridge Wells, is now better perceptible to the planners.
CALA Homes would have the unique opportunity to reinstate a historic setting in the town centre. - What would be the motivation to implement what is known to the directors as "rotten apple"?
30.01.03
CALA Homes Construction Director Malcolm Baker, confirms that plant and equipment will be delivered to the Telephone House site via York Road on Wednesday 5 February 2003.
This will be the last day CALA Homes will be allowed to use York Road.
27.01.03
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Planning and Building Control, announces that Martin Holmans as Planning Compliance Officer will be monitoring the conditions as attached to the planning approval of Telephone House demolition and construction.
Tel: 01892 - 526121 ext. 2100, e-mail planning.buildingcontrol@tunbridgewells.gov.uk
16.01.03 / 22.01.03
CALA Homes Construction Director Malcolm Baker, announces their intention to commence with the site set up and demolition of Telephone House on 27 January 2003.
During the week commencing 28 April 2003, CALA Homes intend to start with the construction of the high density development of 43 flats - Site Manager is David Griffiths.
09.01.03
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents:
CALA Homes' appeal against the refusal of the 2nd Scheme of Works is withdrawn.

HISTORY:
CALA Homes Method Statements/Schemes of Works for the Demolition and Construction on the Telephone House site, Tunbridge Wells
  • Preliminary Scheme of Works March 2002 - not submitted to TWBC
  • 1st Scheme of Works filed 25 July 2002 - refused 9 September 2002
  • 2nd Scheme of Works filed 17 October 2002 - refused 25 November 2002
  • Appeal for 1st filed 5 November 2002 - withdrawn 23 December 2002 (same day as filing appeal for 2nd)
  • 3rd Scheme of Works filed 2 December 2002 - approved 24 Dec 2002
  • Appeal for 2nd filed 23 December 2002 - withdrawn 9 Jan 2003
24.12.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents:
CALA Homes' 3rd Scheme of Works, pursuant to condition 15 of the Inspector's decision has been approved.
The Telephone House Neighbours Association supported this Scheme of Works.
23.12.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents:
CALA Homes replace the appeal against the refusal of the 1st Scheme of Works with an appeal against the refusal of the 2nd Scheme of Works.
- TWBC refused this 2nd Scheme of Works rightfully on the same grounds as the 1st.
With how many tongues do CALA Homes speak?(- see above)
23.12.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents:
Boundery treatement pursuant to condition 3 of the Inspector's decision has been approved
21.12.02
THNA submits its representation regarding CALA Homes' 3rd revision of their scheme of works.
18.12.02
THNA submits its objection to the Local Plan Review - 2nd Deposit Copy.
According to Para 6.57, no policy (H6a) ought to have been allocated to the Telephone House site in the first place.
04.12.02
THNA submits its Statement of Case to the Planning Inspectorate regarding the 1st Scheme of Works, as CALA Homes appealed against TWBC' decision to refuse it on 9 September 2002.
The case is due to be considered at a Hearing in May 2003.
02.12.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents:
Notification of details submitted pursuant to a condition of the planning consent (Inspector's Appeal decision - condition 15)
A 3rd Scheme of Works has now been received. This is different in terms of the details of both the 1st and 2nd schemes, and has been submitted in attempt to overcome our objections to the 1st and 2nd schemes.
25.11.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents:
The 2nd Scheme of Works (announced 15.10.02) was a revision to the 1st one and has been refused on the 25 November 2002 for the same reasons as the 1st scheme.
13.11.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs THNA and invites for comments on:
NOTIFICATION OF REVISED PLANNING APPLICATION DETAILS hard and soft landscaping
This submission was a condition [35(11)] of the inspector's appeal decision.
12.11.02
Archie Norman, MP, informs that he met with the planning manager at CALA Homes Krzys Lipinski to discuss the controversial proposals for the building that no-one wants. He made him aware that the inconvenience for everyone in Tunbridge Wells will be considerable during demolition and construction.
05.11.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents:
NOTIFICATION OF APPEAL LODGED
Following the decision of the Council to refuse permission for the July 2002 proposed Scheme of Works CALA Homes (South) Ltd has lodged an appeal with the Secretary of State.
This is an appeal against refusal of the original proposed Scheme of Works TW/02/01710 (refused 9 September 2002) - The revised proposed Scheme of Works TW/02/02409 (submitted 15 October 2002) is still being considered by the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
The appeal is to be decided by an Informal Hearing. Comments are to be sent to the Planning Inspectorate, Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temeple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN - no later than 10 December 2002.
21.10.02
John Allan, managing director CALA Homes (South) writes: I apologise if I was in any way misleading during my previous conversations with you and Councillor Bullock but we are proceeding with the design as approved by the planning inspectorate.
17.10.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents: I have now received CALA Homes proposed Scheme of Works for formal consideration by the Borough Council - following refusal of the previous scheme (reference TW/02/1710)
16.10.02
Full Council rubberstamps the 2nd Deposit Copy of the Local Plan Review and deletes allocation Policy H6(a)/Telephone House site.

In a passionate speech Cllr Melvin Howell (Cons), declares the whole planning process undemocratic and stalinistic.
Cllr Stanley Ward (Cons), Mayor and Chairman of the Full Council Meeting has the opinion that "objections to the 1st Deposit Copy were often orchestrated".
Cllr Roy Bullock (Cons) reminds Members that the housing target number for South East / Tunbridge Wells is a remainder of the last Conservative Government.
26.09.02
Members of TWBC Cabinet recommend to Full Council (to be held in Council Chambers 16 Oct 2002 ):
Delete allocation Policy H6(a) Telephone House site
09.09.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, the local planning authority under the Town and Country Planning Acts, HAS REFUSED the submission of CALA Homes' Work Scheme

The grounds for refusal are:-
  1. Based on the information provided in the proposed Scheme of Works, it has not been demonstrated that sufficient protection will be given during the construction phases of the development to the residential amenities of occupiers of properties in York Road, in particular by virtue of the potential for the significant use of York Road for access to and egress from the site by construction-related vehicular traffic and for loading/unloading.
  2. The proposed Scheme of Works lacks the clarity and precision required to allow the accurate, and effective monitoring of elements of the construction process in order to ensure adherence to the Scheme by the developer as required by Condition 15.
20.08.02
A delegation of the Association meets representatives of CALA Homes South at their office in Staines, Middlesex.
The aim of the meeting is to give CALA information about the area in which they want to build and successfully market dwellings.
CALA is reminded of the adverse publicity the site has since Telephone House was built and that for over 40 years this building has been known as a monstrosity. This could repeat itself, as generally an unacceptable design will not become more attractive with the years.
13.08.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council invites representatives of THNA to an informal meeting with CALA Homes. The meeting is chaired by Cllr Roy Bullock, Cabinet Member (Planning and Transportation). The aim of the meeting is to enable THNA to receive answers to their questions with regard to the submitted Scheme of Works.
08.08.02
A delegation of the Association meets with Cllr Roy Bullock, Cabinet Member (Planning and Transportation), Cllr Leonard Price and Cllr Adrian Ekins-Daukes. Mrs Gill Twells of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society was invited to take part in a discussion on how CALA Homes could be won over to submit a new planning application which would be welcomed by all.
08.08.02
Answering a complaint by THNA, Quality Assurance Unit of the Planning Inspectorate informs that Inspector Malcolm Lewis (inspector at the Public Inquiry May 2001, appeal Crest Nicholson / Southgate Developments(BT) versus Tunbridge Wells Borough Council) is no longer in the employment of the Inspectorate.
01.08.02
Residents of York Road are informed that they won "Best Street" award in the local competition "Tunbridge Wells in Bloom 2002".
Trees on Telephone House site are part of the "ambiente" of this street. The "up to the pavement" design of the new development will cut a green area of about 50 metres out of the street scape.
"Green fingers" of York Road are at a loss to understand why the trees are doomed to be chopped first thing CALA Homes is allowed to start with the demolition. - While architect Trevor Sutters had drawn so many trees into his computer generated photo montages, there is no space for them in reality.
25.07.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs residents: I have now received CALA Homes proposed Scheme of Works for formal consideration by the Borough Council.
The Introduction letter of CALA states: Full account has been made of the Inspectors Appeal Decision letter in consultation with the Planning and Building Control Services Department of TWBC (last Meeting between officers and CALA was held 19.07.)
09.07.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Head of Planning and Building Control Service, Nigel Eveleigh, informs THNA:
We are still awaiting the Scheme of Works from CALA Homes. We shall be consulting locally once we have received the Scheme.
18.06.02
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Chief Executive Rodney Stone, informs THNA:
Planning Services is still awaiting receipt of the Scheme of Works required by the condition attached to the planning consent.
07.06.02
CALA Homes, Arthur Mann answers an e-mail from Peter Morse, chairman THNA, who followed up our letter of 30.04.02:
They are looking at the best means of reducing the need to use York Road as a means of access to the site.
The Method of Works is being finalised and will be submitted shortly to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for consideration and approval.
They are in discussion with Schatunowski Brooks regarding erroneous shadow diagrams (infringement of rights of light and loss of light) and will check with their technical team to request an update.
They are happy to meet once more to discuss their development programme and this may be more appropriate once they have formally submitted their method statement for approval. They intend submitting this within the coming weeks and thereafter it maybe appropriate for them to arrange with Councillor Bullock to meet at the Town Hall to discuss with representatives of the Telephone House Neighbours Association.
30.05.02
Demolition - Method Statement
TWBC Chief Executive Rodney Stone confirms that the Council has decided that it will consult on the submitted Method Statement when this has been submitted by CALA.
21.05.02
Demolition Notice
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Principal Building Control Surveyor Patrick Arthur writes to confirm that the Council received Notification by CALA stating that Telephone House is to be demolished. Mr Arthur encloses a copy of the Notice of the Council to the demolition contractors involved.
This was for informative purposes only and in accordance with the requirement of Section 81 of the Building Act 1984.
08.05.02
Archie Norman MP checked with Arthur Mann at CALA Homes who confirmed that the sale was completed on 30 April and CALA have no intention of selling the land.
04.05.02
Correspondence to a resident from:
KENT HIGHWAYS, Tunbridge Wells Highway Unit, Tony Carreck, Senior Maintenance Engineer -
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Highway Manager James Whitehorn
"After consulting my collegues in the Development Control Section, no firm dates have been made for any of the works with regard to the proposed development in York Road.
Furthermore it is now believed that the current owner of the land, CALA Homes (South) Limited, are in fact considereing selling the land."
23.04.02
Full Council Meeting
Concillor Leonard Price informs all members that the preliminary Health and Safety Plan, submitted by CALA Homes for the demolition of the Telephone House, does not follow certain conditions imposed by the Inspector and asked that these conditions would be rigidly observed.
Cllr Ronald Weeden (Chairman of Highways Committee) confirms to Cllr Price in a subsequent telephone conversation that a condition will be imposed on the developer that all demolition traffic will use only Church Road. Therefore the re-surfacing scheduled for York Road at the beginning of May 2002 can go ahead.
12.04.02
CALA Homes (South), Arthur Mann, Land Director, meets with MP ArchieNorman, Cllr Leonard Price, Kent County Council (Town Centre) Cllr Roy Bullock and representatives of THNA.
Arthur Mann says he feels that Crest Nicholson passed on "the hot potato" to CALA Homes.
Residents inform him of all objections and proposals. They are hopeful that CALA Homes want to engage in a dialogue and it will be in the interest of all parties if they take the opportunity to review the plans which nobody in Tunbridge Wells finds acceptable.
Residents inform Arthur Mann that they see a possibility to raise funds to purchase the site and venture with a suitable developer to produce a scheme which fits into this Conservation Area.
10.04.02
A delegation of the Association meets with Cllr Leonard Price and Kent County Council (Town Centre) Cllr Roy Bullock for a briefing session prior to meeting representatives of CALA Homes.
On the Agenda are as well discrepancies filed by Crest during the planning process and the Public Inquiry, which went undetected by officers and by the Inspector(eg. Schatunowski’s shadow diagrams).
15.03.02
News breaks that Crest Nicholson is selling the Telephone House site and CALA Homes are in the process of purchasing this land in Tunbridge Wells:
CALA Group ltd.
Adam House, 5 Mid New Cultins
Edinburgh, EH11 4DU
Tel: 0131 535 5200, Fax: 0131 535 5201, E-Mail:info@cala.co.uk
15.03.02
The Courier announces that Crest Nicholson's Managing Director Peter Bowden has told MP Archie Norman it has decided to wash its hands of Telephone House in Church Road Tunbridge Wells and sell up after a commercial review. It is generally seen as a second chance for Telephone House.
26.02.02
Full Council Meeting
The report by the Working Party is deferred back.
Councillors thought that amending 8 out of the 23 recommendations, as proposed by Cllr Bullock , would be inappropriate.
The Leader of the Council Cllr James Scholes writes to THNA: "On balance I did decide during the course of the meeting that the points made by Councillor Bullock should not just be buried. . . at least there is another chance."
THNA believes that unless fundamental changes are introduced, this case will not rest.
21.02.02
A delegation of the Association meets with Cllr Leonard Price and KCC Cllr Roy Bullock.
Committee Members of THNA reaffirm Cllr Bullock of their support for his propositions to bring changes to the planning department after the Telephone House debacle.
07.02.02
Operational Services Board Chairman Cllr Oliver-Smith accepts the Working Party's report (which was in fact written by officers of Planning and Building Control Services and the Secretariat) in a very simple way "I will not go through each point individually, I suggest we agree on issue A,B,C....."
The recommendations require confirmation by Council.
06.02.02
Mark Kelly of Telereal Services Ltd, a joint venture between Land Securities Trillium and William Pears, explains that Telereal acquired the entire BT Property Portfolio in December 2001 and that Crest Homes owns the Telephone House site in Tunbridge Wells as of November 2001
28.01.02
Working Party - second meeting
The Report by THNA is dealt with quickly: Chairman Cllr. Noakes sees no new issues. - All agree.
Cllr Mills says that "Telephone House is a sorry matter"
10.01.01
The Working Party: Chairman Cllr Barry Noakes, Vice-Chairman Paulson-Ellis,Cllr Cunningham, Cllr Mills, Cllr Catt, Cllr Fletcher
Members were guided through their first meeting by Chief Executive Rodney Stone, Operational Services Director John Haynes, Solicitor and Borough Secretary Martin Harris, Head of Planning and Building Control Services Nigel Eveleigh, Development Control Manager David Prentis, Senior Committee Administrator Barbara Kingsford.
A joint report by Nigel Eveleigh and Martin Harris was presented to the Party, commenting on key issues in John Haynes' report and Cllr Roy Bullock's motion put on 4 December asking for changes in the planning system.
04.12.01
Full Council Meeting
Operational Services Director John Haynes report is referred to a Working Party.
This Working Party should report back to February 2002 Council Meeting with recommendations
27.11.01
Special Operational Services Board Meeting.
THNA's secretary asked this Committee not to approve Operational Services Director John Haynes' report in its present form.
The report is referred to the Full Council Meeting on 4 December.
18.11.01
Operational Services Director John Haynes releases his report of an investigation into the handling of the Telephone House development.
It seeks to clear officers and casts blame on Councillors.
It cannot be regarded as objective and impartional when it has been conducted by an officer of the Council who, apart from being a colleague of those whose actions are the subject of an enquiry, quite deliberately did not take evidence from the council tax payers who have expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which Council Officers have discharged their duties.
15.11.01
A delegation of the Association meets with Cllr Leonard Price and KCC Cllr Roy Bullock.
The “uneasy questions to the Chief Executive Rodney Stone, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council” are discussed in detail
05.11.01
THNA's formal objection and request to amend Policy H6(a) is accepted for registration by officer Tony Fullwood, Head of Strategy and Development.
02.11.01
A delegation of the Association meets with Tunbridge Wells MP Archie Norman, Kent County Cllr Roy Bullock, Culverden Ward Cllr Leonard Price to discuss a possible meeting together with Crest Nicholson.
No hope was made by the MP that such a meeting might take place, but he affirmed his commitment to ask Crest Nicholson's Board to rethink
Cllrs Price and Bullock informed residents and the MP that they will bring their views of how the planning process in TWBC could involve residents in the future to the next Council Meeting (4.12.01)
01.11.01
A delegation of the Association meets with Cllr Leonard Price.
Kent County Council Member for Tunbridge Wells Central, Cllr Roy Bullock joins the meeting.
The discussion centred around the points leading to the actual situation. The involment of residents in planning decisions.
Cllr Price will try to have our questions to the Chief Executive answered - Another meeting together with Cllr Bullock is scheduled to analyse the content and the priority of the questions
18.10.01
A delegation of the Association meets with Cllr Leonard Price to discuss possible ways to file a complaint against officers.
Cllrs Wakefield and Lynes could not come because of other engagments.
17.09.01
Formal Objection by the Association against Policy H6(a) [Telephone House] in the Draft Local Plan Review
10.08.01 - 21.09.01
Consultation Period for Objections to the Local Plan Review Tunbridge Wells 2001-2011
So they invite us to comment and assure us that residents' views are taken into account.
Whom are they kidding?
14.08.01
Deadline to appeal against the inspector's decisions. The inspector's decisions were left unchallenged.
THNA regrets that Members of Operational Services Board permit TWBC officers to influence their decisions, even though the inspector's report contained errors and considered prematurely Policy H6(a) of the Draft Local Plan (only now in public consultation) .
We tried to interprete the Chief Executive’s writing: "It may be that Policy H6(a) will not be reconsidered in any event as, of course, the site now has the benefit of a planning consent granted by the Inspector" What was first: The chicken or the egg?
31.07.01
Chief Executive Rodney Stone discloses to THNA that the Inspector had been informed of Policy H6(a) shortly after the Public Inquiry and before it became a public document.
He provides THNA as well with a copy of a letter from David Prentis, Development Control Manager who wrote on 15 May to the Inspector : "The Council's position is that the draft policy is consistent with the case put on our behalf at the inquiry."
He encloses a leaflet to his correspondence: How to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.
26.07.01
Operational Services Board Members vote NOT to challenge any of the inspector's decisions. They were guided by the advice of Junior Counsel Peter Miller of Chambers Anthony Scrivener QC, London, and the interpretation of this advice by solicitor Martin Harris, TWBC, in presence of at least 9 officers. The Public was excluded. Chief Executive Rodney Stone refuses to disclose the advice Counsel had given.
A press release of TWBC quotes Rodney Stone: "This has been an unhappy episode for both council members and officers and it is unfortunate that very significant effort and expenditure has been incurred without any positive result. The important issue is to learn from this episode and we will be looking hard at the way we arrive at planning decisions in such high profile cases and how we handle them at public inquiries in the future"
23.07.01
Correspondence to all 14 Members of Operational Services Board, Tunbridge Wells
with the request to challenge the inspector's decisions, stating that Policy H6(a) has to be removed from the Local Plan Review and giving further reasons which could have lead to a successful appeal in High Court
12.07.01
Telephone House Neighbours Association decides not to give in and gathers legal evidence on how the appeal decision could be challenged.
They will start a publicity campaign to inform a wider audience of their objections
03.07.01
Inspector Malcolm Lewis announces his appeal decision.
The appeal is allowed and planning permission granted.
Despite assurances from the Chief Executive at the extraordinary Council Meeting, the inspector includes the Local Plan Review - Deposit Copy in its reasons for upholding the appeal.
An appeal against this decision can be filed to High Court within 6 weeks
23.05.01
Extraordinary Council Meeting at the Town Hall
to approve TWBC Local Plan Review - Deposit Copy, including Policy H6(a)/Telephone House
Councillors are assured by civil servants Rodney Stone (Chief Executive), John Haynes and Tony Fullwood, that the Inspector would and could not take into account the Local Plan Review - Deposit copy.

Members absent:
Cllrs Ballantine, Bullock, Davies, Jukes, Lockhart, Morton, Price, Scholes, Veitch

Members voting for:
Cllrs Baker A., Baker J., Miss Barber-Hughes, Booth, Cload, Cunningham, Ealden, Ekins-Daukes, Harrison, Horwood, Mrs Lewis, Lynes, Mrs Mayhew, Noakes, Oliver-Smith, Patterson, Mrs Paulson-Ellis, Poile, Rusbridge, Wakefield, Waldock, Ward, Weeden, Young

Members voting against:
Cllrs Mrs Blackburn, Boddy, Carvell, Mrs Catt, Clary

Members abstaining:
The Mayor (Councillor Howell), Cllrs Bulman, Jolley, Mills,Neve, Ollive
(= Members of Western Area Planning Committee, who previously and unanimously had refused the planning application for Telephone House 18.10.2000),
Members of the Culverden Ward, who spoke at the Public Inquiry 1.5.2001 against the development:
Cllrs Price, Lynes, Wakefield
22.05.01
Correspondence to all 48 Councillors of Tunbridge Wells
with the request to dismiss Policy H6(a) on 23.05.01 when the Draft Local Plan Review - Deposit Copy would be rubberstamped at an extraordinary Council Meeting
16.05.01
Committee Meeting of THNA
to discuss the forthcoming Draft Local Plan Review - Deposit Copy
Telephone House appears as Policy H6(a) and dictates the very same kind of scheme as the two refused applications
04.05.01
site visit with Inspector Malcolm Lewis and involved parties.
01.05.01 - 04.05.01
Inquiry takes place at Tunbridge Wells Town Hall

Speakers for THNA:
Ms Heather Jones, Bill Bennett, Kevin Wilkinson, Nigel Watts, Paul Huxley, Peter Scott, Cmdr George Lawson, Mrs Margaret Moruzzi, Ms Barbara Clarke, Sam McDowell, Mrs Annemarie Topliss, Peter Morse - Daniel Bech, Simon Page (written statements)
Councillors Len Price, Kevin Lynes, David Wakefield
Archie Norman, MP for Tunbridge Wells

filing 800 signatures of TW residents on postcards and letters supporting THNA
30.04.01
A delegation of the Association. meets with Len Price, Chairman of Western Area Planning Committee, Kevin Lynes, member of the WAPC and David Wakefield, who is councillor of the Culverden Ward (likewise L.P. and K.L.)
They confirm that they all will speak at the Inquiry
23.04.01
Delivery of the Memorandum and the underlying doucmentation by the THNA to the TWBC barrister Peter Miller, Chambers of Anthony F. B. Scrivener QC, London.
Cllr. Len Price accepted that the evidence of the THNA should have been part of the Council’s defense and endorsed its submission to the Chambers of Scrivener.
20.04.01
Committee Meeting of The Telephone House Neighbours Association:
to discuss the appellants’ proofs of evidence and
to decide the 14 speakers representing the Association at the Public Inquiry
17.04.01
Receipt of Proof of Evidence by:
Barton Willmore, town planners, Paul Mc Creery
Sutters Partnership, architects, Trevor Sutters
Rothermel Thomas, chartered architects, James Thomas
Denis Wilson, traffic and transport planning, Clive Patmore
thus leaving residents only 12 days to prepare for their case!!
13.04.01
An essay by Nigel Watts appears in The Courier:
”Residents oppose scheme”
11.04.01
A delegation of the Association meets with Cllr David Mills, leader of Lib Dem. and member of the Western Area Planning Committee.
He confirms his support for the residents.
06.04.01
Receipt of Proof of Evidence by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council:
Ruth Chambers, case officer
Peter Ashby, conservation architect
Residents were baffled with R.C.’s proof of evidence quoting: "the views expressed are intended to reflect those of the Members of the Committee and are not necessarily my own."
The Councillors confirmed that they had not received a transcript of her proof.
02.04.01
People of Tunbridge Wells seem to be unaware of the appeal.
Residents start with an awareness campaign
- around 3000 pamphlets were distributed
- York Road residents displayed notices in their windows:
"Are you aware of the Telephone House development?"
28.03.01
A delegation of the Association meets with TWBC officers Peter Ashby, architect and
Ruth Chamber, case officer to learn from them on what TWBC intends to base their proof.
17.03.01
Committee Meeting of The Telephone House Neighbours Association:
to discuss the campaign before the Inquiry
13.03.01
A delegation of the Association. meets with Len Price, Chairman of Western Area Planning Committee and Kevin Lynes, another member of the WAPC.
The two Councillors identify with the residents’ plight and are totally supportive. They might speak at the Inquiry
09.03.01
Archie Norman meets for a photo session with the residents in York Road, issues a press release and announces that he might attend the Public Inquiry
01.03.01
Archie Norman, MP for TW and Shadow Secretary of DETR, meets impromptu with a delegation of residents and agrees to put his weight behind the residents cause
17.02.01
Committee Meeting of The Telephone House Neighbours Association:
to discuss the Inquiry Statements submitted by TWBC and the developers to the Inspectorate
31.01.01
A delegation of the Association meets with David Prentice, Development Control Manager and Ruth Chambers, Principal Planning Officer where Ms Chambers tries to explain the advantage of 2nd application over the 1st, but does not succeed. We hear that our statement to the Inspectorate was accepted as evidence to the case
15.01.01
A statement by the Association together with a 200 page documentation is sent off to the Planning Inspectorate, Bristol
12.01.01
The Telephone House Neighbours Association has its first full meeting (election of Committee Members)
Also present are the 3 Cllrs of Culverden Ward, Len Price, Kevin Lynes, David Wakefield. Civic Society was represented by Gillian Twells
11.01.01
A delegation of the Association meets with the Manager of the Planning and Building Control Services Nigel Eveleigh and Ruth Chambers, case officer, to discuss how it was possible that the officers were at such variance with the planning committee by recommending the application and whether there is a standard for planning applications
19.12.01
Residents are informed that Crest Homes and Southgate lodged an appeal against the decision of TWBC
Deadline for submissions to the Inspectorate 23.01.01
The Public Inquiry will take place from 1.5.01 - 3.5.01
2.12.00
Residents of the adjoining roads form The Telephone House Neighbours Association and set up a second Internet site http://uk.geocities.com/telephonehouse
25.10.00
Residents write to the arborist of TWBC requesting to issue a Tree Preservation Order for the group of trees on the Telephone House site.
The officer refuses to issue the TPO (18.12.00)
18.10.00
Meeting of the Western Area Planning Committee, consisting of elected Councillors of all parties:
Annemarie Topliss speaks on behalf of the residents.
The application is refused unanimously, despite being recommended by the Manager of the Planning Department (Nigel Eveleigh) in his report to the Committee
4.10.00
Residents meet the 3 Councillors of the Culverden Ward (Len Price, Kevin Lynes, David Wakefield)
19.09.00 - 2.10.00
45 letters are written by residents to the Council, stating that they see no material difference to the previous one
19.09.00
Notification of revised planning application to residents
Deadline for comments 4.10.00
01.08.00 - 16.08.00
70 letters are written by residents to TWBC
01.08.00
An Internet site http://uk.geocities.com/twyorkroad is set up by the residents to communicate amongst themselves and to draw attention to the issues
27.07.00
Crest Homes invites residents Peter Morse and Daniel Bech (present as well Margaret Naylor, York Road and Peter Scott, Church Road ) to a presentation of their proposed development.
This meeting is initiated by the Civic Society.
It was superfluous as the planning application had already been filed and announced to residents
21.07.00
Crest Homes (South East) Ltd. and Southgate Developments Ltd. (a BT subsidiary) file their second, slightly modified application for 43 flats including 8 affordable housing
Deadline for comments 11.8.00
04.02.00
The residents are informed by TWBC that the planning application is refused.
They are delighted and hope that for a next planning application, their objections will be taken into consideration
27.01.00
Refused TW/99/02211 - Demolition of office building and provision of 42 flats
27.01.00
Approved TW/99/02207 - Conservation Area Consent. Demolition of office building
19.01. 00
Meeting between a representative of Crest Homes (Ken Munday), architects Flanagan and Briscoe and two residents of York Road (Peter Morse, Daniel Bech).
Ken Munday, says that he is seeing the Council officers the following week and that he is sure that "we can knit together a design solution to address as many of the points raised as possible." He confirms this by letter
21.12.00 - 11.01.00
25 letters are written by individuals of York Road, Church Road and London Road to the TWBC Planning Department, filing their concerns, comments and opposition
09.01.00
A leaflet is hastily drawn up by some residents pointing out the facts and distributing them in York Road
28.12.99 - 09.01.00
Through casual contacts between neighbours, some residents in York Road are becoming aware of the planning application
21.12.99
A Planning Notice is displayed only at the Telephone House site in Church Road.
Deadline for comments 11.01.00
NO NOTICE IS FIXED IN YORK ROAD
09.12.99
Only neighbours in the immediate vicinity are informed by the Planning Department of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Deadline for comments: 30.12.99
30.11.99
Crest Homes (South East) Ltd. and Southgate Developments Ltd. (a British Telecom subsidiary) file a planning application for 42 flats, including 9 affordable housing through architects Flanagan and Briscoe, Pantilles, TW
21.07.97
Approved TW/97/00095 - Refurbishment of offices and installation of condenser units at ground floor level
17.04.85
BT informs TWBC that they are unlikely to implement the 82 planning permission.
23/06/82
Approved TW/80/0375 - Extension of existing offices and car park
16.06.82
Approved TW/82/0448 - Additional parking facilities and fence enclosure
6/08/80
Approved TW/80/0374 - Demolition of 23 and 25 York Road
1965
The Telephone Exchange opens in Church Road
14/09/62
Approved SW/1/62/303 - 5 storey office block


index 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.