01.05.01 - The Public Inquiry - Speech of Committee Member Kevin Wilkinson

Traffic and Parking and its problems - Telephone House Development, Tunbridge Wells


My name is Kevin Wilkinson. I have lived in Tunbridge Wells for 23 years, 13 years in York Road.

I am here to address the objections to this development from the three aspects of the traffic problems it would create.

I have read the report by Clive Patmore of the Denis Wilson Partnership.

He states that he is acquainted with the site. I am acquainted with hundreds of people, but not familiar with them, any more than Mr Patmore is apparently familiar with the site, judging by the inaccurate plan.

Here is a copy of the plan with the error marked.

However as the data collected and conclusions reached are largely irrelevant to the problems creating the objections their accuracy or otherwise is unimportant.

OBJECTION 1.

Heavy construction vehicles passing along York Road will regularly be blocked by vehicles parked partly on the footpath at the south side of York Road, as shown in the photographs and illustrations provided by Crest Homes. Thus York Road becomes totally blocked on a regular basis.

OBJECTION 2.

The vibration from heavy construction vehicles passing along York Road, estimated as in excess of 1000 heavy vehicles, will structurally damage the properties, their cellars, the telephone, gas, electricity, water mains, sewerage pipes and Fire Brigade connections. Should any such traffic be even considered, Crest Nicholson should take out an insurance with an established insurance company, presumably for several million Pounds to cover such risks, the cover should continue for at least 10 years after construction is completed and residents are in occupation to allow for the delayed action of such disturbance. Cellars are within half a metre of the road.

OBJECTION 3.

Present car parking provision in York Road is 40 places on the North side, the Council has issued and charged for approximately double this number of Parking Permits to residents of York Road. Additionally non residents are not excluded from parking there temporarily during the day or at all overnight, hence the existing illegal part pavement parking and consequent obstruction.

The provision of 42 parking spaces, accessible from York Road will be totally inadequate for 43 flats.
This was a number agreed by a council employee with the Developer without reference to the Planning Committee of Elected Councilors or the committee of local residents.

Denis Wilson Summary - 1.1.11

By present day figures of cars to modern flats this will result in an overspill of as many as 20 cars seeking parking in York Road. I would assume and hope that as the address of this development is Church Road, that they could not be issued with parking permits for York Road, and therefore would swell the illegal pavement parking. It is often not possible for a large car, let alone any commercial vehicle to pass along most of York Road when cars are parked legally on both sides of the road.

The previous operation as Telephone House has 80 parking spaces, used by private cars and light commercial vehicles. The Parking space was adequate and never resulted in an overspill into York Road.

To summarise, these objections are not to an increase in private vehicular traffic from the proposed development, but to

DAMAGE CAUSED BY HEAVY CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES AND OBSTRUCTION CREATED BY MORE VEHICLES THAN PARKING SPACES BEING ADDED TO YORK ROAD.


In conclusion

A letter from the local residents committee on 24th November 2000 to Nigel Eveleigh, Head of Planning & Building Control Services, requested an extensive survey to be carried out before the two re-developments of Telephone House and the Cinema proceeded.

Nigel Eveleigh replied to this letter on 6th April 2001 to the effect that subsequent to surveys, a Transportation Survey and a Draft Local Plan would be put before the public for extensive consultation.

Here are the copies of these letters

This is a good suggestion and nothing should take place until the whole situation is resolved.




January 2003 - Interactive Map of the area of the Telephone House Development,
explaining the traffic flow around the Church Road / York Road Block in Tunbridge Wells