Planning application for a telephone mast – WD/2017/7506/T
Mayfield and Five Ashes Planning Executive consulted on the above numbered planning application at a meeting on 05 June 2017 that was attended by 26 members of the public. Although the Parish Council understands the requirement of improved mobile phone reception in Mayfield, the Planning Executive Committee strongly objected to the proposal for the following reasons:
- The siting of the proposed telephone mast is inappropriate at the entrance to the historical village of Mayfield and adjacent to Little Trodgers Lane where the road becomes an accident black spot in icy conditions.
- The design of the mast is inappropriate and would create an eyesore in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- The height of the mast is not correctly represented in the consultation and would exceed 21m in height excluding the concrete base and therefore would not be screened by the surrounding trees.
- A monopole design would be less intrusive particularly if camouflaged as a pine tree as are other masts already installed in Wealden.
- The applicant has not adequately assessed other more appropriate locations in Mayfield.
- The applicant has not consulted adequately with the local community. In January 2017 we requested that the applicant arrange a public consultation however no response to this request was received.
- There is no reference in the application to the existing telephone mast off the A267 and Tunbridge Wells Road and why co-location is not an option.
Residents at the meeting suggested the following locations to be assessed for the installation of the mast:
- On top of the tower adjacent to Mayfield Fire Station
- Land behind Mayfield Fire Station
- Land adjacent to the A267 to the north of the junction with Tunbridge Wells Road
- Land adjacent to the A267 south of the junction with Tunbridge Wells Road
- To extend the existing telephone mast off the A267
- To the rear of the telephone exchange
- Towards the roundabout on the Mayfield bypass
- Land north of Mayfield tennis club
- Land to the north of the North Street allotments
- Land north of the Aylwins Development
We recommended to Wealden District Council that the application is withdrawn and that additional more suitable locations are assessed and that the applicant holds a public consultation with the local community before resubmission.
Wealden District Council has provided the following information:
That alternative sites and options for delivering 4G to the village have been reviewed in the application, and they are aware the fire station has been added to the assessment, but discounted as a workable option. The site review is not expected to be an exhaustive review of locations, and whilst the current site (at the entrance to Little Trodgers Lane) has its critics, it is extremely rare that a technically suitable site would attract no objections. They have noted that 9 alternative sites have been provided to the applicant by residents, but cannot comment on their actions on these. In their view there has been evidence provided that alternative sites have been assessed on technical and environmental grounds. This process cannot include all sites. Any location serving Mayfield will not be able to avoid some of the landscape constraints for example the AONB.
There is evidence on the website from the Agent that pre application consultations took place with the community and written responses were received, including concerns from Mayfield Parish Council, from January 2017.Whilst a judgment is still to be formed on the mast and this site, there is reasonable evidence of exploring other sites, and these will be given due weight, along with the fire station option more recently referred to. We are seeking further comment on the mast share possibilities on the A267.
Now the application is lodged, the community/ residents have given views, and these are to be taken into account. WDC offer a further week (i.e. 3 weeks total) to comment than is required under legislation for Prior Approval. There is no pre-condition upon lodging of this prior approval application that the Code of Best Practice and its Ten Commitments is followed, but I do think Harlequin could make a good case they have engaged.
The Parish Council has asked Cllr Brian Redman to call the application in so it is discussed by the Planning Committee North but due to legislation changes in November 2016 up to 20m high masts (plus antenna on top) do not need planning permission but prior approval therefore it cannot be called in to the Committee.
A plea for parking
Please can business owners and residents of the High Street refrain from parking in Mayfield High Street during business opening hours as it is preventing disabled residents from accessing the amenities and please could members of the public respect the two hour parking restrictions that are in place for the same reason. Parking on the double yellow lines is also unacceptable as these are often the only places where blue badge holders are able to park.
Friends Against Scams
At its recent meeting, the Parish Council heard a presentation about the East Sussex Against Scams Partnership encouraging local organisations, businesses, clubs, councils, societies, and voluntary groups to sign up to a Charter and pledge to do something to help raise awareness about scams. By doing so, everyone can work together to make it harder for residents to fall victim to scams. It will be Scams Awareness Month in July so we will start seeing and hearing a lot more messages about how to protect ourselves and others from being scammed.
The meeting also heard about Friends Against Scams, a national initiative aimed at encouraging everyone to learn about the different sorts of scams. You can go online and do the 20 minute Friends Against Scams awareness session.
Some key facts about scams:
53% of people aged 65+ have been targeted by scams and criminals. (Action Fraud)
- Scams cost the UK between £5-10 billion each year. (Annual Fraud Indicator)
- Anyone can be a scam victim, regardless of age, gender, education or economic background. However, the average age of a scam victim is approx. 75 years old, showing that criminals tend to prey on older and often more vulnerable members of society.
- Scam victims might not always admit (or be aware) that they are a victim of a scam. Only 5% of victims report the crime. (Age UK 2015)
- Scams are the product of organised, predatory criminals who gain trust to exploit and steal money.
Tips to help protect yourself and/or others – Take Five
- Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password.
- Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is genuine.
- Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting.
- Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right.
- Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret.
Other practical tips to help protect yourself and/or others:
- If in any doubt, say “NO”or to end a conversation and put the phone down or to tell someone to leave your property.
- If you’re not sure, don’t open the door – Don’t engage with traders at your door, especially if you don’t know it is or are unsure about their legitimacy.
- If you’re suspicious, talk to someone you trust and get a 2nd opinion – if you have any doubts about a phone call, email, letter or visit at the door.
Remember: scams are fraud and fraud is a crime. Don’t ignore scams, report them so others can learn about what’s going on in East Sussex. Some useful scams contact numbers for sharing with your family, friends, and fellow workers and the contact number for organisations to sign up to the Charter are:
- For support and advice on scams (eg rogue traders, romance scams, scam mail, telephone calls, text messages, emails), call Citizens Advice on 0345 40 40 506
- If you are concerned about financial abuse speak to Health and Social Care Connect on 0345 60 80 191
- For a non-emergency response (if you have been a victim of a fraud/scam), call Sussex Police on 101
- If you have been affected by crime, get emotional and practical help from Victim Support on 0808 168 9274
- To report a fraud, or suspected fraud, and share information to help stop others from becoming victims, call Action Fraud 0300 123 2040
- For more details about the East Sussex Against Scams Partnership or to sign up to the charter, contact: Elaine Bowdery 01273 335670 or email@example.com
Information on the charter commitments is also available at the Parish Council offices and you can also sign up to receive Community Safety Monthly updates if you provide your email address.
Beat the Street
Beat the Street went live on 7 June for 7 weeks. It is a free game for the communities of East Sussex to see how far they can walk, cycle and run around our area. By tapping Beat Boxes placed on lamp posts everyone can join in and record their journeys, earn points and win prizes. There are three installed in Mayfield: West Street, Station Road/ Rotherfield Lane and Stone Cross.
Tapping a card or fob on the first Beat Box sends the location information to a database. The second Beat Box that is tapped will record a journey. You must tap at least two Beat Boxes within one hour to record a journey. Visit https://beatthestreet.me/eastsussex for more information and to access the maps.
Improvements to Wealden District Council’s online services
Wealden District Council has launched MyWealden, a personalised online portal to improve the way residents can access its services. There were more transactions made last year via the Wealden website than by residents phoning up. This is a quicker, more convenient and simpler way for residents to contact us. You can register your account at http://my.wealden.gov.uk .
You can report that your bin was missed alongside other waste enquiries, requesting removal of graffiti, reporting pollution, property name change, registering an address and more. For a video guide showing a step-by-step guide of how to register for MyWealden search for “Registering for MyWealden” on Youtube.
Stay Cool but Stay Secure
When the weather is hot and sunny people get out and about more, or spent time in the back garden, so it’s doubly important to remember home security.
When you’re in the back garden remember to keep the front door locked. And either shut the front windows or fit opening restrictors to prevent someone climbing in. Many people forget that when they are in the back garden, they might as well be out altogether as far as the burglary risk is concerned.
Never leave valuables on view, day or night, even when the house is locked up. Car keys, purses and wallets should all be kept out of sight.
At night, or when you are out at any time, remember to secure your garden gate if there is one and to put a good, sturdy lock on your shed door if there is expensive equipment inside.
Two security options you may like to consider are security lights and where possible gravel, as the noise of crunching stones is likely to deter thieves.
Wealden Tourism Video
If you would like to view the new Wealden tourism video it is now available on youtube with the following link: https://youtu.be/fjN_pWMHyQw
PLEASE NOT THAT THE PARISH COUNCIL OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED ON THE MORNING OF FRIDAY 7 JULY 2017.