PLANS for an eight-metre reception mast in a rural village have been rejected by planning officers.

The applicant, telecommunications company Arqiva, proposed the installation of the mast in Rochester to assist with the Government’s project to develop a new Smart Metering network.

However, residents objected to the plans, claiming the eight-metre high structure would pose a visual distraction to motorists on the A68 and have a negative impact on the surrounding landscape.

Lord Rupert Redesdale said the proposed mast was on his land and no representation by the company had been made to him, while there was also a lack of community consultation on the plans.

One resident stated in their objection that the mast would give off increased levels of radioactivity to nearby residents. A spokesman for Arqiva said there were no plans to continue with the application.