Sing along with Save Capel – Passport to Monaco

Feb 12, 2021

Long term Capel resident, John Nimmo, and his music producer colleague, Ian Rosam, have written a song designed to highlight the impact of Tunbridge Wells Borough Councils (TWBC) plans to build thousands of houses in the Parish.


For many years, John has been an amateur musician and like many has been spending more time on his passion during lockdown.

Since the plans for Capel were first announced by TWBC back in May 2019, John has shared frustration over the Parish’s potential destruction with thousands of residents and Save Capel supporters. It was while in a local community Zoom meeting, where someone mentioned the plans would see a conurbation the size of Monaco being created across Capel, that inspiration struck. 

The following Saturday, over the course of just a couple of hours, “Passport to Monaco” was born, drawing inspiration from the Ealing comedy “Passport to Pimlico”. Like the 1949 film, the song follows the premise that Capel residents should buy the land due for development and form a republic to secure its protection. 

John recorded the instrument tracks for the song – all but the drums – himself. He then passed the recordings on to Ian, a professional sound and music engineer who has worked with bands including Dr Feelgood during his career. Ian pulled everything together, added a drum track and produced the song you can hear today. 

Alongside the song’s humour, the key message John has tried to get across is that we should be taking the time to step back, acknowledge the current circumstances – including the impacts of the pandemic – and to develop a Local Plan that meets the area’s housing needs in a sustainable way that has the support of residents. 

If you enjoy the song and appreciate the considerable effort John and Ian have put into its creation, you can help us to challenge the Local Plan with a donation. Any amount, large or small, will help the Save Capel campaign to cover the legal and expert costs that are needed to fight TWBC  and those promoting the developments. 

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We would like to offer our thanks to John, Ian and everyone who has sent us the pictures featured in the video.



I was sitting on a Zoom call on a January evening

When I heard about the Borough Council’s plans

To build a plot of houses, thousands upon thousands

All across our green and pleasant land (Jerusalem!).

The rationale seems crazy, the planning guys were lazy

They wouldn’t change their minds or understand

That the depth of local feeling has reached up to the ceiling

When we came to realise what was at hand.


“D’you know where this is going to go? A blot the size of Monaco!”

From Tonbridge all the way to Paddock Wood

It’s so far away from Tunbridge Wells, and it’s so rotten that it smells

Like someone somewhere is up to no good.

The Borough pursued Teacher, till he saw that he could feature

A charette to make a million pounds or two

By concreting the Green Belt, building roads (that go) to nowhere

And that cut our lovely pastureland right through.


We’re not allowed to muster and protest about this bluster

While the Council seize their chance to push it through

In the midst of this pandemic and throughout the whole polemic

We just need to figure out what we can do.

But through the Council’s scheming, I began to get to dreaming

Of a way to beat the planners at their game

I thought of an old movie of a London-based republic

It was called Passport to Pimlico” by name.  


So we’ll set it up as Monaco (UK)

We’ll buy up all the property, that’s where we want to stay
We’ll buy up all the houses, they’re all packed together tight
And not a patch of greenery in sight.


Think of all the benefits a republic could bring

Getaways and holidays beginning every spring

It’s built upon huge flood plains with water everywhere

Go swimming, sailing, boating, fishing all without a care.

We’d set up our own government and start to build a wall

Right around New Monaco, build tax-free shopping malls

Convert the daft new road into an airport for the planes

And build a new casino and a racetrack round the lanes.


Come and see New Monaco, and get on board the plane

Pack your trunks and snorkel for the flooding when it rains

Also pack your gas mask for pollution from the cars

You can wear it for your cocktails on the street outside the bars.

Death Race 2020 on the new road, we could play

Targeting our villagers when they get in the way,

Let’s make the game real barmy when we lay out all the rules

By making sure the bypass finish line is at the school.  


I want a passport to Monaco (UK)

We’ll buy up all the property, that’s where we want to stay
We’ll buy up all the houses that are packed together tight
With not the slightest patch of green in sight.

Don’t you think this all sounds like a much better idea

Than trying to pretend that logic ever mattered here

We could set up state visits for kings and presidents and queens

To visit Monaco (UK), the land that once was green.  


I want a passport to Monaco (UK)

We’ll buy up all the property, that’s where we want to stay
We’ll buy up all the houses that are packed together tight
With not the slightest patch of green in sight.


I think we need to take a step back from this stupid plan

And to say you won’t review it ‘cos you haven’t got the time

Is nothing short of reckless, cos so many things have changed  

Since the plans were drawn up, and so to stick with them is strange.

We’d like to trust the Councillors to do their very best

They need to understand the depth of feeling here, no less

To recognise the Capel plan is seriously flawed

And remember – it’s the voters here who keep you in a job.


I want a passport to Monaco (UK)

We’ll buy up all the property, that’s where we want to stay
We’ll buy up all the houses that are packed together tight
With not the slightest patch of green in sight.

Your donation could make the difference. Please help us Save Capel

Save Capel on Twitter The national inspector advises TWBC drop Tudeley town from its proposed local plan...Kind of what we said!
Interesting that the Inspector still has to ask for so much information on 'Duty to Cooperate' - TWBC knew other Local Plans had failed on this, so surely they should have adopted a belt and braces approach...
It will be interesting to see whether TWBC has a ‘duty to cooperate’ ace up its sleeve on 29 March.
Day 2 of the public Local Plan examination. It's certainly worth a listen . We hope that all the Cllrs that voted the draft plan through are now paying attention to what they voted for.
There is growing voter anger about the 17000+ acres of green space Kent could lose if developers are allowed to take the easy option to build on greenfield instead of brownfield Kent MPs beware! @GregClarkMP #savekentsgreenspaces
SaveCapel photo