LINK to internet site of the Telephone House Neighbours Association -

— in the Town Centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells,



CALA Homes
took over Crest Nicholson Plc's and British Telecom's Southgate Developments'

controversial planning permission for the high density development of

Telephone House site in Tunbridge Wells

[Church Road / York Road]
of which "the final plans please no-one"

CALA Homes' omnipresence in the Town Centre of Tunbridge Wells is over !
- after 4 years, in January 2007.

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

CONSTRUCTION during 2003 - 2005
- The Telephone House Estate [alias: Norfolk Grange] Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells

Images of Royal Tunbridge Wells town centre

Location Map - - Images of Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Centre
July 2002 - February 2003 - July 2003 - August 2004

chronicle of events for Telephone House in Tunbridge Wells

Chronicle of events: November 1999 - 2005

Telephone House development, Tunbridge Wells, and the Local Press

The Telephone House development and the Local Press
"The Telephone House Debacle" - 59 publications: August 2000 - February 2003
and continuing with
"A failing Council - confirmed by the Audit Commission" [ March 2003 - March 2006]

The Sunday Telegraph: Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells, July 2002

The Sunday Telegraph 14 July 2002
Tunbridge Wells is disgusted
The town famous for its retired colonels and forthright views has found a new target-the proposed redevelopment of its old telephone exchange into flats. Ross Clark unravels a tangled tale of angry residents and officialdom.

The Saturday Telegraph: property section

Recommended reading for Homebuyers - most recent: 22 Feb 2003
Ross Clark, the famous author in the property section of Saturdays' Editions of
The Daily Telegraph , gave us permission to publish articles, which, we find, are a must to read for anyone looking to buy a home.

Archie Norman, MP for Tunbridge Wells Archie Norman, MP for Tunbridge Wells, judges the proposal "unacceptable"
  • Meetings with the Telephone House Neighbours Association
  • Press Releases
  • Archie Norman - his biography

Local Plan Tunbridge Wells - amenities

Why were Local Plan policies and planning guidelines not followed for the Telephone House development ?

high density Telephone House development in Tunbridge Wells DENSITY
Telephone House Development is a high-density development, with 140 dwellings per hectare or 60 units per acre, excessive in the opinion of Tunbridge Wells residents
  • Government Planning Policy Guidance PPG3 and Regional Planning Guidance RPG9 Policy Q3
Kent County Council's density issue

How does Kent County Council interprete the density issue?
Leader of Kent County Council, Cllr Sandy Bruce-Lockhart commented on density for the Telephone House development

developers of Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells

Whom are we dealing with? - The developers of Telephone House

CALA Homes prospective buyers will ultimately encounter the same problems as the residents
i.e. lack of privacy, lack of sunlight/daylight, lack of amenities, insufficient parking, outdated infrastructure, living in high density.
Therefore, there is a risk that the CALA Homes development, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, will be unsustainable.

  • August 2004 - House Builders Federation fights against NIMBYs in Tunbridge Wells

  • July 2003 - CALA Homes, stage directors of "The Development of The Telephone House Estate, Tunbridge Wells" – ( "The Comedy of Errors" ), in need to prop up up their public image in Tunbridge Wells ?
  • March 2003 - In what way do CALA Homes and residents of Tunbridge Wells views differ ?
    What do CALA Homes want to build ? - What do Tunbridge Wells and the Telephone House Neighbours want to see ?
  • January 2003 - Profile: CALA Group Liaisons
    Little was known to The Telephone House Neighbours when the name CALA Homes Ltd appeared on stage in April 2002. Now we know more about CALA Group and its Executives. We know more about their financial links and their connections. We know about opposition to their various developments.

  • December 2002 - Is anyone else opposing CALA Homes developments ?
    The Telephone House Neighbours scanned the Internet to find out
  • 21.11.2002 - CALA Homes go into confrontation
  • CALA Executive Chairman Geoff Ball's statement on BBC Panorama clashes with CALA's reluctance to take up an offer made by Councillors to Arthur Mann during a meeting in Tunbridge Wells
  • Will the architects, Trevor Sutters Partnership, London continue to work for the project which CALA Homes want to implement, denegating all mistakes of the design ?
  • April 2002 - CALA Homes took over Crest Nicholson Plc and British Telecom's (Southgate Developments) controversial planning permission for the Telephone House Development in Tunbridge Wells.

  • - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - Crest Homes (South East) Ltd, Crest Nicholson Plc, Crest Nicholson Residential (South East) Ltd (agent: Barton Willmore) and
    British Telecom Plc, Southgate Developments Ltd (agent: King Sturge)

CALA Homes uncompromising execution of the most controversial planning consent of Tunbridge Wells

Is CALA Homes really going ahead with THAT scheme?

  • May 2003 - The uncompromising execution of the most controversial planning consent of Tunbridge Wells' recent history is now carried out by CALA Homes
  • 06.05.2003 - CALA Homes (South) intend to commence with site set up and construction phase of the Telephone House development, Tunbridge Wells
  • April 2003 - How do CALA Homes defend what is known to their directors as "hot potato and rotten apple" ?
  • 27 January 2003 - CALA Homes MOVE INTO TUNBRIDGE WELLS
  • 09.01.03 - CALA Homes (South) withdraw from their appeal for the 2nd Scheme of Works
  • 23.12.02 - CALA Homes (South) present another Planning Inspectorate Appeal (this time for the 2nd Scheme of Works)
  • 21.12.02 - THNA representation: 3rd Scheme of Works, which is approved by TWBC on 24.12.2002
  • 04.12.02 - THNA statement of case to Planning Inspectorate (for 1st scheme of works)
  • 25.11.02 - CALA Homes (South) Revised 3rd Scheme of Works
  • 20.11.02 - CALA Homes (South) Revised Planning Application: LANDSCAPING -
    "We looked hard, but could not find anything which would enhance this Conservation Area."

traffic and parking in Tunbridge Wells Parking and Traffic - January 2003
  • Interactive Map of the area of the Telephone House Development, explaining the traffic flow around the Church Road / York Road Block
  • Study: Parking Spaces in the vicinity of the Telephone House
  • - Correspondence with Kent Highways / Tunbridge Wells Highway Unit
  • - Correspondence with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

trees in York Road, the Conservation Area of Tunbridge Wells Trees
  • Study: The group of trees on the Telephone House site
  • Study: The street and building line of York Road south side
  • The Kent High Weald Project to promote tree planting
  • Not coherent with the refusal decision of the 1st planning application (January 2000), the TWBC tree officer, Daniel Docker, does not recommend a Tree Preservation Order later in December 2000.
  • April 2003, TWBC Planning and Building Control Services inform residents that on Telephone House site / York Road, the replacement for the 10 felled trees, including four 21 year old mature Sorbus Aria, will be four Sorbus Aucuparia.

rights of light, loss of light - Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells Rights of Light
  • Prescription Act 1832
  • Rights of Light Act 1959
  • The Lands Tribunal - Jurisdictions
  • Information on Rights of Light
October 2002 - Loss of Light for residents living opposite the Telephone House in York Road
  • CALA Homes' point of view?
  • Correspondence to / from Planning Department, TWBC
  • Correspondence to / from Crest Homes' surveyors
  • Survey of McBains Cooper, London
issue 'overshadowing' - Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells The Shadow Diagrams of Schatunowski Brooks, London
TWBC planning department blindly trusted the expertise of the developer Crest Nicholson with regard to overshadowing

Planning Application for the Telephone House development in Tunbridge Wells, 2000

In 2000 - The 2nd joint Planning Application for the Development of Telephone House, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Western Area Planning Committee (Members/Councillors) decided to refuse BT's / Crest Nicholson's joint planning application for Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells

design/drawings for the Telephone House development in Tunbridge Wells, 2000

In 2000 - The footprint / layout of the proposed blocks of flats in comparison:
present Telephone House - 1st and 2nd planning applications submitted by BT (Southgate Developments) / Crest Nicholson (Crest Homes South East)
- CALA Homes insist to implement the plans

Link to the Internet site of York Road Residents, Tunbridge Wells -

Documentation to the Planning Applications:
The Telephone House development, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells
Internet site of York Road Residents:
- Is the proposed development suitable for this Conservation Area ?
- Making the residents' opinion count !

Telephone House appeal - Crest Nicholson versus TWBC, Nov 2000 Crest Nicholson Plc / Southgate Developments Ltd [BT] versusTunbridge Wells Borough Council

Telephone House Public Inquiry in Tunbridge Wells, May 2001
  • Press release 06.05.01
  • The Chairman's summary presented to the Inspector
  • Speeches of members of the Association
  • Councillor Leonard Price, Chairman of Western Area Planning Committee
  • Councillor Kevin Lynes, Culverden Ward
  • Councillor David Wakefield, Culverden Ward
  • Archie Norman, MP Tunbridge Wells
  • Richard Phillips QC, appellants closing submissions and costs

Telephone House Appeal decisions by the Planning Inspectorate, July 2001
  • The Telephone House Neighbours Association Chairman's comment to the appeal decision
  • The Appeal Decision - full text
  • The Costs Decision - full text
  • Could the Planning Inspector's decisions have been challenged ? (between 3 July - 14 August 2001)
  • Were the residents wrongfully ignored by the Planning Inspectorate, Bristol ?
  • 09.05.2002 - Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells, Planning Inquiry May 2001 :
    Complaint to the Planning Inspectorate, Bristol

Uneasy questions to the TWBC Chief Executive, Rodney Stone, 2001 What went wrong with the Telephone House Planning Applications?
2001 - The uneasy questions to the Chief Executive Rodney Stone and other senior officers of TWBC

2003 - The questions are still unanswered; they are as intriguing as 2 years ago.
April 2002 - CALA Homes bought this planning application.
With an ever increasing awareness of the flaws in the design? - Foundations for sustainable and viable development?
Request of public Inquiry into Tunbridge Wells Council officers' conduct, July 2002 08.07.02 - Letter to Len Horwood, Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (since May 2002)
Surely, the time has come for the Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to initiate a Public Inquiry: "Council officers' conduct"
Councillor Len Horwood, Leader of TWBC, 2002/2003

February 2003 - Comment to Cllr Len Horwood's refusal to initiate a Public Inquiry

TWBC's Internal Inquiry into the Telephone House Debacle, 2001/2002 10.01.2002 - Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's Internal Inquiry into the Telephone House Debacle
At Full Council meeting on 4 December 2001 a Working Party was set up to address the Internal Report of the Director of Operational Services and to integrate an important motion brought forward by Cllr Roy Bullock.
  • 27.11.2001 - Director of Operational Services John Haynes' Report into the Telephone House Application/Planning Appeal
  • THNA's comments on the TWBC Internal Report: Telephone House Enquiry

Local Plan, Telephone House, Policy H6(a), 2001/2002/2003 Policy H6(a) - allocated for Telephone House site in the Local Plan Review - dictates the same scheme as the twice refused planning applications
  • 2 March 2004 - The case is very simple; therefore THNA does not find it necessary to be present at the Formal Hearing
  • "Objection to Policy H6(a) Allocation of Land at Telephone House for Residential Use" - Proof of Evidence for the Local Plan Review Inquiry - by THNA and by the Local Planning Authority
  • Announcement for 16 September 2003 : The Inquiry into objections to the Deposit Draft of the TWBC Local Plan Review will open on Tuesday, 16.09.2003 at the Council Chambers, TWBC Town Hall (3 days).
  • Announcement for 9 May 2003 : Pre-Inquiry Meeting with Inspector, Miss L Graham, appointed by the First Secretary of State to consider objections to the Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan Review
  • 7 March 2003 - Policy H6(a) / Telephone House, will be part of the Public Local Inquiry in 2003 / 2004.
  • 18.12.2002 - 2nd Formal objection against Policy H6(a) --> leading to Public Inquiry during 2003
  • Nov 2002 - With the publication of the Local Plan Review 2nd Deposit Copy, comments filed to Policy H6(a) of the 1st Deposit Copy in 2001 were made available.
  • 16.10.2002 - Members of the Cabinet recommend to Full Council: Delete allocation Policy H6(a) Telephone House site
    Policy H6(a) / Telephone House site is no longer material consideration.
  • 17.09.2001 - Formal Objection against Policy H6(a)
  • Policy H6(a) has to be removed once and for all from the Local Plan and the "rubberstamping-mistake" of Councillors in May 2001 has to be corrected

Attitude of TWBC senior officers towards residents The Attitude of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's
Chief Executive and Senior Officers towards Residents and Rate Payers

"A Failing Council - confirmed by the Audit Commission"
  • since January 2003 - Guide through the Local Press - last update: 24.03.2006
  • 2001 - What does the Chief Executive and the Director of Operational Services say ?
  • 2001 - What do we, the Telephone House Neighbours say ?

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Tunbridge Wells Borough Council - What are the rules and roles?
  • The Council’s Basic Values
  • Local Government Act 2000:
    • Chapter 2 - Full Council and Members' roles
    • Chapter 8 - Officers' roles under executive arrangement
    • Chapter 10 - The Constitution
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough News
  • Standing orders - Proceeedings and business of TWBC
  • Town rejects mayor

Contents of THNA Internet site, Tunbridge Wells This button always links to: "CONTENTS - TELEPHONE HOUSE SAGA 1999-2005"
The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the controversial high density development on
Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1.

RTW History on CD-Rom

CD-Rom: Historical and Interesting Views of Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells 400th Anniversary - Edition 2006 - released February 2006

THNA e-mail: e-mail: