12
Feb
2005

Clear message that we care about the health and welfare of residents

This shows you how you can try to work on parish councils to influence the district councils.........and you CAN mention health. Planning departments may be restricted in recognising health issues, but it can only raise awareness to keep telling them about them!

If you have some ideas of how to raise awareness, or you want to tell your story, put it on here to share it with us all.

Sandi


BY ELIZABETH BARRETT

15:00 - 11 February 2005

Yalding Parish Council has reconsidered its no comment to the borough on plans to build a 20metre mobile phone mast in the village, following "confusion" at its last meeting and objections by residents.

Villagers living close to the proposed site on Lower Kenward Farm, off Kenwood Road expressed concern that the lattice mast, with its three antennas and two transmission dishes, would blight the landscape and pose health risks.

At its February 1 meeting, the parish council initially reached the majority decision to issue a "no comment" on the application, but included a caveat stating they would "prefer to see it not in a special landscape area".

After the debate, Oast Court resident Symon Wilson said: "Objecting to the project will send a clear message to Maidstone Borough Council that we care about the health and welfare of the residents of the parish and will enable it to make the right decision and reject the scheme."

He pointed to the fact that a previous Orange application for a similar mast at nearby Court Lodge Farm on Kenward Road was objected to by the parish council and then refused permission by the borough in June last year on the grounds that it would be "visually prominent" and spoil the character and appearance of the special landscape area.

Mr Wilson added: "Nothing has changed; it is still a rural and visually sensitive area where there are strict planning restrictions. The mast would be seen for miles around. It's incredible that mobile phone companies have made huge profits by making the handsets a fashion accessory by reducing them in size, but the towers are still obscene eyesores. Each time they get planning consent for 65ft steel structures they have no incentive for improving the aesthetics. The mast brings no benefits to the area."

Worried Oast Court resident Debbie Duffell said: "Young children live nearby. Surely there must be a site just outside the village where there aren't residents nearby."

Teresa Cheeseman, whose home backs on to Lower Kenward Farm, said: "I was surprised and disappointed the parish council made no comment. My concern is that it is not in keeping with the area and could affect health."

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