Woodingdean residents have been left reeling in anger following a mistake by Brighton and Hove Council’s Planning Department which has resulted in the erection of a 12.5metre telephone monopole and 2 equipment cabinets on Warren Road in front of the area’s historic cottages.
The error has come to light upon investigation by local Councillor Dee Simson after initial construction of the equipment cabinets began last week despite permission for the telecommunications company’s initial application in March being refused on 23 May. After requesting Planning Enforcement officers attend the scene, Cllr Simson was later notified that council officers had failed to issue the decision notice outlining the refusal in the required time of 56 days.
Speaking on the issue, Cllr Simson said “The incompetence in this whole situation is unbelievable. Woodingdean residents are now left with a 12.5metre phone mast that should never have been allowed to be erected. Residents met their democratic obligations by submitting written objections to the mast along with myself and others so why can’t the council fulfil theirs? The people of Woodingdean are quite understandably very upset that such a structure is being placed in front of the village’s historic cottages which they consider precious to the community. It will completely change the street scene.”
Councillor Steve Bell added “It is not good enough for the Council to simply apologise for an error of this kind which has only come to light because I pushed for further investigation. Something must be done.”