29.06.2003 - Proof of Evidence to the Inspector, Miss L. Graham, appointed by the Secretary of State for the Local Plan Review Inquiry, Tunbridge Wells, during 2003/2004
Note: The Planning application for the development of Telephone House site was refused by the Members / Councillors of the Western Area Planning Committee, Tunbridge Wells, in October 2000 - but this refusal was overturned by the Appeal Inspector Malcolm Lewis granting planning permission in 2001. Additionally, in May 2001, TWBC allocated Policy H6(a) to the land at Telephone House for Residential Use - not even matching the Local Plan criteria of the size of 0.4 ha to justify a policy.
THE TELEPHONE HOUSE NEIGHBOURS ASSOCIATION
32 York Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Inspector Miss L. Graham
c/o Town Hall Royal Tunbridge Wells
PROOF OF EVIDENCE - Local Plan Deposit Copy - POLICY H6(a) - Telephone House
In view of possible future litigation over the Telephone House Development Ė even after the blocks have been built - a recommendation by the Inspector whether or not Policy H6(a) is defensible might play a vital role.
It is unacceptable to residents that Policy H6(a) was eliminated from the Draft Local Plan on the grounds that the site has a planning consent. It should never have been in the LP as it is ruled out by LP para 6.57.
Furthermore an allocation of the 43 units to table 2, at a time when final plans by CALA Homes were not even accepted by the planning department, was not justified.
CALA Homes South Director had given hope to residents and councillors that the company might review their plans, but after the Councilís decision to allocate the site to table 2, CALA decided to implement the plans which were granted by Inspector Lewis, who had taken Policy H6(a) into account.
That Inspector Lewis had taken Policy H6(a) into account cannot be negated. Rodney Stone, Chief Executive confirmed to Archie Norman, MP that: "There seems little doubt that the Inspector did break the relevant procedure rules in dealing with policy H6(a) in the way that he did."
[ refer to: http://uk.geocities.com/telephonehouse/pidecision/stone2norman150801.html ]
It is the opinion of residents, that the site would not have achieved the present planning consent without Policy H6(a). Therefore it is perverse to eliminate this policy on the grounds that the site has now a planning permission.
We believe that our comments to the Draft Local Plan made to the first and second Deposit copies are justified and expect to receive the Councilís comments on the points raised.
Further information on Policy H6(a) is filed on: http://uk.geocities.com/telephonehouse/localplanreview230501.html
The Telephone House Neighbours Association
2000 - The footprint / layout of the proposed blocks of flats in comparison:
Bizarrely, 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.