The (Calverley Square) CPO Public Inquiry gets underway tomorrow, Tuesday 12th February at 10am, and we would urge anyone who is against this project to attend.   If the CPO is granted it will see our council spend in excess of £90m on new council offices and a new theatre.

Whilst the government’s inspector, Graham Dudley BA (Hons) Arch Dip Cons AA RIBA FRICS, should only be interested in the evidence put before him and the testimony of witnesses and counsel, the more people who turn up at the meeting, the more he will realise that this is not what the public wants, so please do attend if you possibly can.

You can arrive when you are able – and leave whenever you need to – and the highlight of Day 1 will be the cross-examination by a top barrister of TWBC Chief Executive, William Benson, and Head of Economic Development, David Candlin.

The Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government saw the strength of opposition from Borough residents after he received an overwhelming and reportedly unheard of number of objections along with compelling reasons that TWBC should not be allowed to continue with this vanity project.

Independent experts have already submitted their written evidence (Proof of Evidence) to the Inquiry which the inspector will judge against the Council’s evidence.  Whatever the outcome, the bill will be footed by the ratepayer including the cost of the Council’s barrister and all their expert witnesses.  You can read the evidence here:

The Public Inquiry, which will see a number of high-profile experts speaking against the CPO, is being held at The Mercure Hotel, 8 Tonbridge Road, Pembury, TN2 4QL.  Anyone can attend at any time and for any duration.  It is currently estimated that the Inquiry will sit for 10 days – 12-15, 19-22 and 26-27 February 2019.   On most days, the Inquiry will sit from10.00am to around 5.00pm, with a break for lunch and a short comfort break in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

We hope to bring you updates from the inquiry, but we’d rather see you there, even if the Chief Executive wouldn’t!