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Plans for Three 5G phone mast in Iwade near Sittingbourne which suffers bad signal

A village blighted by poor phone signal may finally be getting a 5G mast.

Three, one of Britain’s biggest mobile providers, has submitted plans to Swale council to install a 15-metre telecoms pole in Iwade, near Sittingbourne.

Brookfields housing estate opened in 2017. Picture: Google Maps
Brookfields housing estate opened in 2017. Picture: Google Maps

It come after residents compared life in the village to being in the dark ages due to problems with phone signal, power cuts and water leaks.

The planned mast would go up opposite the Brookfields housing estate on Sheppey Way.

While Swale council has no powers to reject the plans, it has until August 14 to give feedback.

Planning documents say the mast “utilises an extremely discreet, slimline design”.

This comes after years of phone signal problems in the rapidly-expanding village.


One resident, who has lived on Pintail Drive for five years, told KentOnline he had to make phone calls by hanging out of a window.

Nutmeg Crescent resident, Claire Gallagher, likened the infrastructure in Iwade as being “like living in the dark ages”.

Cllr Roger Clark, who lives in Pearl Blossom Drive and represents Iwade on Swale council, said the phone mast is “needed”.

He said: “Making a phone call can be a matter of life and death for those people who have major health issues.

“It’s important that this is built.”

Cllr Roger Clark
Cllr Roger Clark

Many residents and businesses in the village rely on an internet connection, either using WhatsApp or other wifi-based platforms, to make phone calls due to the poor mobile phone coverage.

Some villagers have already voiced their support for the mast.

One resident of Evergreen Close, Katie Sheehan, said the twin issues of poor signal and frequent power cuts left them cut off.

They said that, when the electric goes off: “not only do we lose the landline, but we also lose our internet which therefore means that we have no way of communicating to others in the event of an emergency.”

A resident of Sheerstone, Philip Kitney, said: “Finally, something beneficial to those of us who have been swamped by the horrendous over-development of Iwade village, and the surrounding area.”

A 5G mast in Ashford
A 5G mast in Ashford

Iwade has seen rapid expansion over the last two decades, with its population quadrupling in 20 years.

More homes are planned, with work ongoing on the latest development, 60 homes at Orchard Meadows on Sheppey Way.

Abigail Pearson, from Sheerstone, said: “We are lucky to get one bar of phone signal, which makes it extremely difficult to contact my children as they gain their independence around the village.

“It also means in an emergency, which I have recently faced when trying to call for an ambulance whilst by Comorant road, Iwade, I lost signal with the 999 call operator."

Michael Harris, of Cormorant Road, added: "Many things in today’s world rely on a good wi-fi signal and it would be great to catch up with the 21st Century in Iwade. Why should we be left behind the rest of the country?"

“Why should we be left behind the rest of the country?...”

Not everyone is happy about the plans for the mast, however.

Daniel Seymour of Monins Road told the council that the mast would “devalue my property as the mast will be unsightly and will not be in keeping with the surrounding area.”

To view and comment on the application click here using reference 23/502863/TNOT56.

The topic of 5G masts is a controversial one, with widespread calls for better connectivity in communities but frequent protests when plans for the poles are put forward.

Many anti-mast campaigners site health fears, but the government insists there is no evidence they pose a danger.

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