RESIDENTS are furious after a massive 5G tower was erected just metres from their homes despite planning permission being refused last year.
The 65ft pole – operated by Three – was put up in Ashford, Kent, despite a planning application being rejected by the council in 2021.
It has been dubbed an obscene eyesore that offers zero benefit to the community by residents of the Park Farm Estate.
But despite opposition, the structure appeared without warning last month (AUG).
Roger Stimpson, 76, who has lived on Bluebell Road on the estate for a year but spent most of his life in Kent said he was outraged with Three for installing the pole so close to his home.
The part-time painter and decorator who lives on his own said: “I actually can’t believe the way the company has gone ahead and put it there, it’s right on the roadside, it’s just too close to the houses.
“It’s badly planned by a cheapskate company who chose the cheap option and stuck it up on a housing estate.”
The elderly man said the community welcomes the mast, but wishes it wasn’t so intrusive.
Roger added: “I’m not one of those NIMBYs but they were so many better options where they could have put it up.
“This wouldn’t have happened years ago, companies used to do professional jobs with this sort of thing, but not anymore.”
Another 56-year-old resident who has lived on the estate for 22-years, but chose to remain anonymous, said the situation was ridiculous and vowed to do everything in their power to get it taken down.
They said: “The council has cocked up and I’m also furious with Three…I’ll do everything I can to get this thing down.”
Engineers installing the mast said it wouldn’t improve the signal for locals due to the way the signal is distributed, according to a local councillor.
The resident added: “People around here won’t even benefit from it…the horrible thing is here but with no advantages, it’s not going to improve the signal at all.
“KCC said there was no planning for it, I think they have been hoodwinked by Three.”
Park Farm South ward Cllr Jim Wedgbury (Con) said: “I am appalled that a mast has been sited in such an inappropriate location with a complete disregard for locals.
“It’s a complete farce.”
‘COULD FALL DOWN’
Another 45-year-old dad of two who has lived on the estate for two years but wanted to be anonymous spoke of his anger about the unsightly mast which has been installed so close to his home.
The engineer, who lives with his wife, 21-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son, said: “Why have they put it up near so many people? It could be dangerous, you just don’t know.
“It could even fall down, nobody knows, it’s far too near.”
Joanna Yates, 52, a retired cleaner who lives right next to the corner where the mast was put up, said it looked dreadful.
She and her 27-year-old daughter, Millie Yates, have lived in their home for more than two decades slammed how the mast “doesn’t even give us good signal.”
Kent County Council believed neighbouring Ashford Borough Council had approved the work, but this turned out not to be true.
The council has cocked up and I’m also furious with Three…I’ll do everything I can to get this thing down
A KCC spokesperson said: “Our Streetworks team allocated the appropriate road space for this project believing that planning permission had been granted by Ashford Borough Council.
“However, this turned out not to be the case and we will be instructing the contractors today to stop work until permission is granted.”
Three claimed it submitted an application on July 28 to the local planning authority but didn’t get a response so it claimed ‘deemed’ consent.
A Three spokesperson said: “5G rollout is vital for residents and businesses in Ashford. We want to offer the community a reliable network experience and this site will be critical to making that happen.”
A spokesman for Kingsnorth Parish Council said: “Kingsnorth Parish Council is supportive of improving mobile phone signal across the Parish.
“We have not been notified of a new planning application since the previous prior approval application was received and refused by Ashford Borough Council.
“Planning Legislation changed earlier this year and it may be that planning permission is not now required, this will be an issue for the Ashford Borough Council planning department.”