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Protest against 60ft 5G mobile phone mast planned for Larkfield Avenue and Barnsole Road, Gillingham

Neighbours say a planned 60ft phone mast would tower over their homes, reduce the value of their properties, harm wildlife and pose a risk to their health.

These are just some of a raft of objections to a 60ft phone mast earmarked for a residential area of Gillingham.

A mobile network operator wants to install the massive structure, along with six antennae and associated cabinets, in Gillingham, on a pathway in Larkfield Avenue at the junction of Barnsole Road.

Banner-waving residents are objecting to the plans for a phone mast
Banner-waving residents are objecting to the plans for a phone mast

A petition containing 250 signatures has been compiled and others have individually written to the council's planning department venting their anger.

Many are complaining only a handful of householders were consulted about the structure, which would be higher than four double-decker buses.

There are also concerns that it would be close to several schools including Robert Napier secondary and a half-way house for people with mental health issues.

Banners have been erected at the proposed site, which is next to an electricity substation.

Audrey Baxter, who is spearheading the campaign, has written a letter of "strong" objection to the council.

A mobile phone mast. Picture: Stock image
A mobile phone mast. Picture: Stock image

She said: "They have openly admitted not talking to the council prior to the application being submitted, not putting up the usual notices in the area and not consulting all residents.

"It's almost as if 'it's not in a conservation area, so we shall just plonk it here'."

Ms Baxter, 50, said: "It would be an eyesore and not in-keeping with the area.

"We believe we have done all we can and would like to feel the council supports us. We would like to feel optimistic, but at the same time are realistic."

Clarke Telecom Ltd, acting on behalf of mobile tele-communications operator CK Hutchison Networks (UK), believes it is "the best solution to serve customers in the local community".

Residents protesting against a proposed 60ft phone mast
Residents protesting against a proposed 60ft phone mast

It said it would provide the latest 3G, 4G and new 5G technologies to the Medway area ensuring coverage and capacity requirements are maintained.

The proposed height is essential to provide a better, faster signal, according to Clarke Telecom.

As superfast 5G is rolled out across the county, there have been a raft of such applications for masts, as well as many protests from neighbours across Kent.

But there are fears denying permission for them could put the brakes on a technological revolution.

Despite health fears over the masts, the World Health Organisation insists research has found no adverse health effects linked with exposure to wireless technologies. However, only a few studies have been carried out at the frequencies to be used by 5G.

To view and comment on the Gillingham mast plans, click here, and search for reference MC/22/2451.

The deadline is today.

The application will be considered by councillors at a planning committee which could be a early as next month.

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