Addressed individually to all 48 Councillors
Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS
We have become aware through the local newspaper The Courier that the Draft Local Plan should be "rubberstamped" by all members of the Council on this Wednesday’s meeting.
We understand that the draft will then be officially released for public consultation. We have inspected the draft and found that it contains a Policy for the Telephone House site, Church Road, - H6 (a) - (Page 122/123)
We urge you to dismiss this specific policy on the following grounds:
"Given the large number of small, unidentified sites likely to come forward for development during the Plan period, the Local Planning Authority sought to identify only sites of 0.4 hectares or greater as housing allocations . . . "
Therefore a Policy for the Telephone House site should not have been proposed as the site is known to be 0.307 hectares.
[Policy H6 (a) / quotes wrongly 0.32 hectares!]
The Policy H6 (a) in its present form is virtually identical to the scheme in the Crest Homes planning application which was refused by the Western Area Planning Committee.
If this policy is not taken out of the review it will be difficult to justify the considerable expense of the costs of the recent Public Inquiry.
The Policy as drafted, completely ignores the known views of the Elected Councillors and all objections raised by a substantial number of residents and council tax payers.
Should Policy H6 (a) / Telephone House site nevertheless be integrated into the Local Plan - the following concerns should be taken into consideration:
is not 0.32 hectare - but 0.307 hectare
The recommended density levels are an exaggerated interpretation of governmental guidelines. They are not followed through in an even way - in other Local Plan policies with more land available e. g. H6 (b) and H6 (d) and H6 (e) and H6 (f)
The proposed density is criticised by English Heritage (letter 18 Oct 2000 to TWBC) and the Civic Society (letter 3 Oct 2000 to TWBC) - both statements were evidence in the Public Inquiry.
- page 3/5 - 22.05.2001
Consider as well:
- page 10 (2.45): "The density of development should be maximised on such sites without compromising environmental quality."
- page 27 (4.10): "The extent to which the intensity of the proposed development would impact on the character or amenities of the area and the amenity of nearby occupiers will be taken into consideration."
- page 114 (6.62): "the density of surrounding developments is often higher enabling the most efficient use of land." Residents of York Road always argued that due to the many conversions in the 1980s and the many bedsits in Dudley Road, the area is already over-populated.
Consider as well:
- page 26 (Aims 8)
- page 28 (EN1 (4))
- page 29 (4.23)
- page 44 (4.91)
- page 57 (4.157)
- page 119 (6.91)
- page 4/5 - 22.05.2001
It is understood that the development land is, due to its prime location, of high financial value. A relaxation on affordable housing according to page 109 (6.38) would therefore be appropriate in view to allow for better design and layout in this part of the conservation area. There are likely more suitable places at lower initial costs to integrate affordable housing than on this site.
Recreational open spaces should be provided on-site - NOT relaxed in form of
a commuted sum, which is likely to be only £ 14.700 - minute in relation to
an over £ 10 million project.
Less density could give scope for proper amenities - thus keeping such an important development sustainable for the future.
The proposed "vehicular access from York Road is preferred." will result in
As a conclusion we wish to express our regret to see that so many hours of residents who genuinely have tried to be articulate, rational and objective, seem to be wasted.
This Draft LOCAL PLAN with regard to Policy H6 (a), the Telephone House, proves that
The Telephone House Neighbours Association
Members of the Committee: Peter Morse, Chairman - Heather Jones, Vice Chairman - Annemarie Topliss, Secretary - Barbara Clarke - Albert Ellis - Daniel Bech - Paul Huxley - Kevin Wilkinson - Emma Cox - William Bennett - Peter Scott
cc: Nick Raynsford, the Planning Minister
cc: Archie Norman, MP for Tunbridge Wells
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.
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.