Telecoms Mast at the Keston Village Hall – Planning Application 16/01288

Dear Resident

We have been advised by Cllr Michael that this item will be on the agenda for Plans 1 Sub-committee this coming Thursday, 28th April. It is being recommended for refusal on the following grounds:

1. The proposal, by reason of its height, siting and design, would have a seriously detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the Keston Village Conservation Area and the openness of the Green Belt within which it would be sited, thereby contrary to Policies BE1, BE11, BE22 and G1 of the Unitary Development Plan, Supplementary Planning Guidance for the Conservation Area, Policies 7.4, 7.8 and 7.16 of the London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.

The item appears on List 4 of the Plans 1 agenda which means that it cannot be granted permission on Thursday evening, even if Members wish to do so. If Members were to be sympathetic to the plan, it would need to be deferred and then moved to List 2 of a future planning agenda (items meriting special consideration).

The applicants argue that the mast is needed to improve the 3G service and provide 4G service to the Keston Village area. It would be a shared site between Vodafone and Telefonica (02).

You can attend the meeting on Thursday evening, which begins at 7pm. It will be held in one of the Council committee rooms because the Council Chamber is being used for election preparations.

Update
The Plans 1 Sub-committee members unanimously voted to refuse the application for the mobile mast at the meeting on Thursday 28th April on the following ground.

1. The proposal, by reason of its height, siting and design, would have a seriously detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the Keston Village Conservation Area and the openness of the Green Belt within which it would be sited, thereby contrary to Policies BE1, BE11, BE22 and G1 of the Unitary Development Plan, Supplementary Planning Guidance for the Conservation Area, Policies 7.4, 7.8 and 7.16 of the London Plan, and the National Planning Policy Framework.

Their view was that this is a particularly sensitive site, lying as it does within the Keston Village Conservation Area and the Green Belt. It is also located within a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation and an Area of Archaeological Significance. The Grade I listed Keston Windmill is located to the north of the application site.

In addition, the mast, if permitted, would have been visible to those residents living in the row of houses at 120 – 128 Heathfield Road.

For all these reasons, they felt that I could not support the siting of a mast at this particular location.

However, Councillors are aware that local mobile telecommunications are poor and need improving. To this end, Cllr Michael who chaired the committee has asked Vodafone to consider a less environmentally sensitive site for a mast.

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