Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Mum contests 5G mast outside Valley Park and Invicta Grammar Schools in Maidstone

A mum-of-two has launched a desperate legal battle to stop a 5G mobile phone mast being placed close to a school.

Kate Moore has instructed a solicitor to contest a decision by Maidstone council to allow the 15-metre high mast to be placed on the corner of Huntsman Lane and Ashford Road, in Maidstone.

Kate Moore at the site of the proposed 5G mast, close to Invicta Grammar School and Valley Park. Right, how it could look
Kate Moore at the site of the proposed 5G mast, close to Invicta Grammar School and Valley Park. Right, how it could look

The site is less than 10 metres from the boundary with Valley Park School and within 100 metres of the classrooms.

Like many parents, Kate says she is concerned that there could be an adverse impact on the health of youngsters at the school, potentially exposed to high frequency radio radiation for several years.

She said: “The potential health impacts of a mast so close to school classrooms have been ignored.

“Children as young as 11 attend both Valley Park and the neighbouring Invicta Grammar School and they can spend seven hours a day at the school, and will now be exposed to this radiation.

“The staff of the school and local residents living very close to the mast will also be exposed.”

A third school, the School of Science and technology, is also not far away.

The government has said there is no evidence that mobile phone masts have an adverse impact on health, and councils have not been allowed to take this into consideration providing the mast providers produce a certificate called the Declaration of Conformity confirming radiation will be below a standard level.

However, Mrs Moore’s solicitors will contest the council’s decision on eight different grounds including that the council did not carry out a full and proper consultation process, that it did not accurately assess whether alternative preferable locations were available, and that the address shown on the site notice advertising the mast was inaccurate.

Mrs Moore added: “The schools, parents and local residents were not properly consulted and alternatve sites should have been more carefully considered.”

Maidstone council received 17 letters of objection to the mast, including one from Richard Hayden, the chief operating officer of the Valley Invicta Academies Trust, which runs all three schools.

He said: “We object to the construction of the monopole unless sufficient evidence can be provided to assure the health and safety of the 4,000 students and staff that we have on our main campus and within the three schools mentioned above.”

There are concerns for the health of schoolchildren attending classes nearby
There are concerns for the health of schoolchildren attending classes nearby

“While we appreciate the requirement for investment into the infrastructure for telecommunications locally, the chosen location close to three schools is questionable without sufficient evidence and assurances being provided.”

The trust’s response arrived six days after permission was granted, which Mr Hayden said was because the council had sent the notification to the wrong place.

In an explanation of his decision, the council’s planning officer said: “Health impacts are not a material planning consideration when assessing a proposal of this nature. The proposal was assessed solely upon its siting and appearance.”

Mrs Moore has lodged a “letter before action” with Maidstone council, and if they don’t respond favourably, she intends to seek a judicial review.

The deadline for her solicitor to file for judicial review is today (June 15).

“Of course it will be expensive to fund, so I have launched a crowdfunding campaign in the hope that other parents will contribute towards the cost,” she said.

Mrs Moore, from East Malling High Street, explained that her solicitors, Harrison Grant, were successful in a similar legal case against Brighton and Hove City Council, resulting in costs payable by the council of £13,000.

The crowdfunding campaign has so far raised more than £2,000, but Mrs Moore needs to raise £5,000 by Thursday.

You can support the campaign by visiting here.

She is supporting the appeal wth a Facebook campaign here.

Full details of the mast application can be found here by searching for the reference 23/501215.

A Maidstone council spokesman said: “We fully considered the application for the proposed mast, which included the required health and safety certificate.

“The council undertook a detailed assessment and produced a report on the proposal, which is available on our website.

“Maidstone council has provided a formal response to the claim for a judicial review. It is not appropriate to comment further at this time.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More