‘Intrusive’ and ‘ugly’ Lewes 5G mast was installed without planning permission

A 5G mast installed by Three in Lewes, East Sussex, does not have planning permission, LewesDistrict Council has confirmed.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Since the mast went up, residents have been busy poring over the planning documents and consulting lawyers. They recently sent a 55-page letter to Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority, highlighting the catalogue of errors and omissions in both the application and the planning process.

Residents spotted these problems as soon as the mast was installed last October, but it was only after a concerted effort by a local action group, with more than 800 people signing a petition for the mast’s removal, that Lewes District Council officers agreed to take action.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The action group is supported by a cross-party group of councillors, including Nicky Blackwell, James Gardiner, Nick Tigg and Kevin West, the new Mayor of Lewes Matthew Bird, and Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Lewes James MacCleary.

‘Intrusive’ and ‘ugly’ Lewes 5G mast was installed without planning permission. Photo: Lewes 5G mast action group‘Intrusive’ and ‘ugly’ Lewes 5G mast was installed without planning permission. Photo: Lewes 5G mast action group
‘Intrusive’ and ‘ugly’ Lewes 5G mast was installed without planning permission. Photo: Lewes 5G mast action group

Councillor Blackwell said: “Lewes Town Council opposed the planning application for this mast from the start. The mast sits just a few metres from the school and nursery and is right in the middle of one of the South Downs National Park protected views. We can see this intrusive, ugly mast from houses all over the Nevill estate and from the Landport Bottom nature reserve. It’s more prominent than Lewes Castle.”

Read More
Sewage pollution on Glynde Reach – brown water and “horrendous stench”

According to a statement from Lewes District Council: “We are using all the powers available to us to secure the removal of the structure or the submission of a retrospective planning application. In the event of an application being submitted, it will be subject to public scrutiny and comment prior to any formal decision being made.”

Deirdre Daly, a teacher who leads after-school classes at Wallands school, said: “The mast has been built right beside Wallands School, and young children playing in the nursery playground are just a few metres away from it. A mast in this location should never have been permitted in the first place, but what they’ve built is even more intrusive than in the original plans and it’s in the wrong position.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Paul Miller, who has a child in the nursery, said: “We had no warning and later found out that the school was notified using a generic email address only weeks before the summer recess. By the time we came back from the summer break, the contractors had already started. It’s an absolutely shocking disregard of the rules around sensitive sites.”

Councillor Kevin West said: “I am heartened by the community spirit and the detailed work that the residents of Nevill and Wallands have put into opposing this eyesore and I am happy to have been able to support their action. To be clear, this is not about whether 5G is or isn’t safe: all masts must have appropriate planning permission and the requested permission does not match what has been built. It must come down.”

Leigh Palmer, Head of Planning at Lewes District Council, said: “The Council acknowledge that the mast in situ does not benefit from any consent and are pursuing this matter with the scheme proposers.”

Three must now either remove the mast or submit a retrospective planning application.


Related topics: