Tunbridge Wells Borough Council's Internal Inquiry into the Telephone House Debacle

On 4 December 2001 the Full Council referred the Report of the Director of Operational Services [ Internal Inquiry into the Telephone Houe planning application / planning appeal ]
to the Development Control Working Party

(Development Control Working Party Members: Councillors Noakes, Paulson-Ellis, Cunningham, Fletcher, Mills, Catt)

TWBC 18.11.01 - Director of Operational Services, John Haynes' report into the Telephone House planning application / planning appeal
a biased report, a whitewash for the officers involved

THNA 21.11.01 - The statement of THNA to Operational Services Board Meeting on 27 November 2001

TWBC 27.11.01 - The Minutes of Special Operational Services Board
Investigation into the Telephone House Planning Application - Recommendation requiring confirmation by Council

TWBC 27.11.01 - The Agenda and Summons for the Council Meeting 4 December 2001
containing under item 11, Cllr Roy Bullock's motion which does not consider the Director of Operational Services Report going far enough, nor having the urgency ascribed to the actions that are necessary to ensure Member's confidence in the process.

THNA 07.01.02 - THNA's letter to Working Party: Councillors' meeting on 10 January 2002
We hope you will not think us presumptuous in writing, but we feel that we may be able to assist, as a result of our experience as residents of the Telephone House planning debacle

TWBC 07.01.02 - Report of Head of Planning and Building Control Services [Nigel Eveleigh] and Borough Secretary and Solicitor [Martin Harris] to Members of the Working Party - 10 January 2002
Again it looks like the initiative was taken out of Councillors' hands and according to one Councillor
"Even this party is lead by officers".
This can be confirmed as on the first Meeting of the Working Party all TWBC Senior Officers were present to consult Members in their discussion!

[Chief Executive Rodney Stone, Director of Operational Sevices John Haynes, Head of Planning and Building Control Nigel Eveleigh, Development Control Manager David Prentis, Borough Secretary and Solictor Martin Harris, Senior Committee Administrator Barbara Kingsford]

Comments 19.01.02 - Comments by the THNA on the TWBC Officers' Report to the Working Party - 10 January 2002

Comments 19.01.02 - Comments by the THNA on the TWBC Internal Report: Telephone House Enquiry
We hope that the points raised in our report help your Working Party to come to fair conclusions and that maybe, in future, residents who are invited to comment on planning applications do not have to find out that their comments, often based on profound local area knowledge and rational thinking, end up unnoticed and are not considered and are worth nothing as one so often hears: "They [the authorities] have already made up their mind!"

THNA Winter 2001/2002 - Comments by Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society on the TWBC Internal Report - Telephone House Enquiry
"The Director of Operational Services was asked to consider what lessons could be learned from the affair. His report sought to avoid the issue of blame. Reading it, though, the phrases that most readily spring to mind involve right hands not knowing what left hands are up to, and houses divided against themselves not standing."

TWBC September 2002 - Delegated Powers to Officers of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Officers are authorised to exercise functions as delegated by Councillors / Members of the Eastern and Western Area Planning Committee.

TWBC Local Plan Bizzarely, 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.

THNA What went wrong with the Telephone House Planning Applications?
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?

contents 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.