Loss of Light

37 Church Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells

e-mail: telephonehouse@cs.com
internet: http://uk.geocities.com/telephonehouse

Mrs Ruth Chambers
Planning Office
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS


Dear Mrs Chambers

Telephone House: Loss of Light

We thank Mr Eveleigh and you for meeting with us on 11 January. During this meeting with Messrs Eveleigh, Morse, Scott and Bech and you, we briefly discussed the issue of loss of light to the properties opposite the proposed development.

We have been made aware by a neighbour, Mrs Quinnell, whose house is situated opposite the development that the developers had approached her to discuss this issue. She confirmed to them that as a lay person, she did not understand very much about how to interpret the surveyors’ designs and wordings and that she wanted to have an independent survey done. The developers’ surveyor confirmed that the developers would be willing to pay for this and that Crest Homes would be willing to compensate for the loss of light with a sum.

This proves that the developer acknowledges that there is an issue concerning loss of light.

Mrs Quinnell wrote to TWBC and received a non-specific reply from Mr Mark Berry, dated 25 November, that he could neither confirm nor deny that there is a possible redevelopment of the Telephone House site, please see copy attached. The respective Planning Application no TW/99/02211 was filed five working days later, on 2 December 1999.

You wrote in the Appraisal of the Report of the Planning and Building Control Services Manager, 18 October 2000, page (W9):
"Considerable concern has been expressed by residents of York Road in relation to overshadowing and loss of light as a result of the blocks fronting this road. The applicant has submitted shadow diagrams to show how the development would affect existing properties at various times. Properties on the north side of York Road currently face south across an open site. Clearly, any development of this site will impact on the sunlight and daylight reaching their properties. However, I am satisfied that the applicants have demonstrated that a refusal of permission on ground of impact on sunlight and daylight would not be warranted. In addition, the issue has been taken into account to some extent in the overall height of buildings and the arrangements and design of roofs".

As there was clearly a commitment by the developers to compensate for the loss of light and as this is a legal issue, your detrimental assessment will be seen as an expert reference. Can you confirm that you are that expert?

The loss of light issue in the current re-development proposal impacts negatively not only on the houses opposite but also on houses on the North East side during the evening and houses on the North West side in the morning.

Would you please confirm whether or not you had been made aware of an initial offer of compensation for this loss of light by the developers.

Yours sincerely
Annemarie Topliss

Back to Annemarie Topliss' speech at the Public Inquiry May 2001

The rights of light and loss of light issue