A 5G phone mast is set to be put up in a village described as being in the “dark ages” when it comes to basic amenities.
Three, one of Britain’s biggest mobile providers, will install the 15-metre telecoms pole in Iwade, near Sittingbourne.
The mast will be erected opposite the Brookfields housing estate on Sheppey Way after Swale Borough Council (SBC) decided prior approval was not required.
Residents have had to endure frequent power cuts, poor phone signal and water leaks in the rapidly-expanding village.
Iwade’s population has quadrupled over the last 20 years, with work ongoing on the latest development, 60 homes at Orchard Meadows on Sheppey Way.
The 5G mast is hoped to alleviate the signal issues.
One resident of Pintail Drive told KentOnline he had to make phone calls by hanging out of a window.
Meanwhile, Nutmeg Crescent resident Claire Gallagher likened the infrastructure in Iwade to “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.”
Some 21 villagers put their weight behind the plans.
One resident of Evergreen Close, Katie Sheehan, said the twin issues of poor signal and frequent power cuts left them cut off.
She 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.”
Tilly Feneck of Ferry Road told the council of the effect the poor signal had on her family's everyday life.
She said: “I have four children and if they need to contact me, they are not able to.
“This includes schools, doctors and nurseries so if a problem arises or they become unwell no one can get through.
“I've missed multiple doctor's appointments which have been arranged over the phone because they cannot contact me.”
Mansfield Drive resident Jaime Cripps said the plans were a “long time coming” as he is “fed up of paying my phone contract and not being able to use it.”
The plans have not been welcomed by all, with 13 letters of objections submitted to the council.
Nicola Louden of Cormorant Road said the plans were “outrageous” and that “no one in the village should have to live with this monstrosity.”
To view the plans 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 cite health fears, but the government insists there is no evidence they pose a danger.