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Mast in Queens Hall car park

22:50 12th October 2023

Submission from the Faversham Society for the attention of the Planning Inspectorate/Secretary of State in relation to:

An appeal lodged by MBNL (on behalf of EE and H3G) in relation to Prior Approval refused by SBC in November 2022.

Location: Queens Hall Car Park, Forbes Road, Faversham

SBC reference 22/504412/TNOT56

PINS reference: APP/V2255/W/23/3322929

Proposal: Prior Notification for Electronic Communications for installation of a 20m monopole supporting 12no. antenna apertures and 2no. 600mm dishes along with 1no.wraparound cabinet, 6no. equipment cabinets, all within a 1m high hooped perimeter barrier, and ancillary development thereto. For its prior approval to: siting and appearance.

The Faversham Society, founded in 1962, is a UK Registered Charity working to preserve the best of the heritage and fabric of the historic town of Faversham and its surrounding parishes.  I am writing on behalf of the Society to oppose the appeal by MBNL of the decision by Swale Borough Council in November 2022 to refuse prior approval to install a 20m monopole tower in the Queen’s Hall Car Park, Forbes Road, Faversham.

The Faversham Society objects strongly to the proposed development because of the impact it would have on the Faversham Conservation Area in which the telecommunications mast would be located and on the Grade 2 listed buildings to which it would be adjacent.  #s 56 and 57 Preston Street are fine examples of late Georgian town houses and the rear wall of #56, against which the developers are proposing to locate their infrastructure, is one of the listed features of that property.

Faversham is the primary destination in the Borough of Swale for national and international visitors.  A telecommunications mast in that particular location would dominate the approach to this historic market and port town in a way that would seriously undermine its image and character as a medieval town and an attractive destination for tourists.

The Faversham Society objects to this appeal also on the grounds that local residents whose properties would be affected by the proposed development were not informed as required.  Neither the owners of #s 56 and 57 Preston Street were sent information about the appeal and we believe that other nearby residents on Victoria Place and Dorset Place were not alerted either or therefore given the opportunity to give their opinions.

Finally, we understand that the previous owners of #56 Preston Street (the Church of England) put a Restrictive Covenant on the use of the land within Queen’s Hall Car Park at the time it was sold to SBC, restricting “any building whatsoever" within what is now the car park.  Upon purchase, those restrictive rights were transferred to the current owners as the successors in title.  They intend to enforce them at all costs. 

Chair, Faversham Society

October 13, 2023

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