I've been scratching around this week for decent local topics to discuss. With information pending on some issues I know you'll find riveting (sic), this week the borough of Tunbridge Wells seems to have taken a down-turn for anything worth talking about.
I really wanted to avoid the bewildering article in the Courier about a woman who's children were apparently 'traumatised' by finding human excrement near the tills of Iceland in Calverley Road - although it did raise a grin when I saw one of the comments was a request from a company called Messrs Sue, Grabbit & Runne offering to help her get "compensayshun".
I was also disappointed to read the utterly pointless article the Courier ran about a Pembury couple on a low income complaining they needed more "state" help to pay off their debts and fund their gambling and smoking habits. Another raft of angry readers comments followed that one...
So I was pleased to receive a timely email from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in response to my objection of the proposed A21 Dualling scheme at Pembury.
It tells me that "it has been decided that Public Local Inquiries are to be held into the draft Orders (proposed plans listed below) and the objections" made about them. There will also be a local pre-Inquiry meeting held - dates and times of both to be supplied.
1. THE A21 TRUNK ROAD (TONBRIDGE TO PEMBURY DUALLING) ORDER 20..
2. THE A21 TRUNK ROAD (TONBRIDGE TO PEMBURY DUALLING) (DETRUNKING) ORDER 20..
3. THE A21 TRUNK ROAD (TONBRIDGE TO PEMBURY DUALLING SIDE ROADS) ORDER 20..
4. THE A21 TRUNK ROAD (TONBRIDGE BYPASS TO PEMBURY BYPASS DUALLING) ORDER 1996 (REVOCATION) ORDER 20..
5. THE A21 TRUNK ROAD (TONBRIDGE BYPASS TO PEMBURY BYPASS DUALLING SIDE ROADS) ORDER 1996 (REVOCATION) ORDER 20..
6. THE A21 TRUNK ROAD (TONBRIDGE BYPASS TO PEMBURY BYPASS DUALLING SLIP ROADS) ORDER 1996 (REVOCATION) ORDER 20..
7. THE A21 TRUNK ROAD (TONBRIDGE BYPASS TO PEMBURY BYPASS DUALLING) (DETRUNKING) ORDER 1996 (REVOCATION) ORDER 20..
THE A21 TRUNK ROAD (TONBRIDGE TO PEMBURY DUALLING) COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDER
"All persons with an interest in the Public Local Inquiries are invited to attend".
And basically, anyone with alternative routes proposed must submit these to the Highways Agency in Dorking , Surrey, no later that 3rd May 2010 (so we can guess the inquiry will be after this date!) or they will be dismissed from the inquiry.
"The Secretary of State for Transport will publish a further notice which will be in accordance with Rule 10 of the Highways (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 1994 in the case of the Orders numbered 1 to 7 and Rule 10 of the Compulsory Purchase (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 2007 in the case of the Order numbered 8 above. That notice will include details of the Orders, which are the subject of the public inquiries, and explain the procedures to be followed for anyone who wishes to appear and to give evidence, or submit alternative proposals."
The notice also invites readers to visit the following link for more information on the dualling scheme:
I'm now faced with a mixture of feelings - I'm thrilled that objections have been lodged about the proposed plans and that a public inquiry will take place. I'm also very doubtful that it will make a jot of difference unless someone comes up with reasonable and effective alternatives.
With my notable lack of planning and civil engineering experience, that someone is highly unlikely to be me.
I'll keep you posted as soon as I know when the first public meeting is to take place.
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Natelie Fitzroy is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.