Fears 12m phone mast could be built in Hawkenbury

Pam Mills
A telecom tower

Waldon Telecom has reportedly written to households in Whybourne Crest stating their intention to install the single mast at the junction with Forest Way.

“This is an entirely residential area and the scale of this is inappropriate,” said Jonathan Hawker, of Whybourne Crest. “It would dominate the community.”
But Waldon does not need to seek planning permission because the mast is technically categorised as a ‘permitted development’.

Sometimes Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s planning committee will need to be consulted so they can ensure proposals are in line with legislation and do not require planning permission. This process is called prior notification.

Mr Hawker continued: “There is also deep concern about the impact of electro-magnetic radiation on people, the young especially, with government research saying that further studies are needed. “We are not anti-phone mast. We just think this is the wrong place to put it. There are many better locations.

“They can do what they want unless the planning committee chooses to step in.”

Under the permitted development law, masts can be built up to 15m without planning permission.

A spokesman for the borough council said the planning authority would have limited ability to step in to challenge at the prior notification stage. If they were to, the complaint would typically regard the siting and design of the mast.

But residents have not given up hope and have contacted their ward councillor Tracy Moore to take up their case.

She said: “I am dead set against this 12.5m tall single mast in the location on Forest Way.

“I have made clear to our planners that if the applicant seeks prior approval it should be refused.”

The borough council spokesman added: “The council has not received any application for a mast on Forest Way.

“If an application was to come in it is likely to be prior notification rather than an application for planning permission.”

Waldon Telecom has been approached for comment.

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter