In 2017, Vigilant decided not to appeal Dover District Council’s denial of the application for the communications mast adjacent to Richborough Energy Park. Vigilant will continue to explore alternative ways to enhance the communications infrastructure in the area.
We are seeking planning approval from Dover District Council to establish a new 322m tall communications mast on land adjacent to Richborough Energy Park, and provide a much-needed high speed data connection between financial institutions in the UK and Europe.
The site was chosen as it is adjacent to an industrial site; is geographically remote and has a history of tall structures due to the areas previous use as a power station. It is also ideally located to achieve line of sight communications with existing infrastructure in Europe.
As part of our plans we want to make sure the local community benefits from the proposed mast. The proposed benefits include a community trust to be funded annually by mast revenue and managed by the local community; technical equipment, sponsorship and initiatives with local schools and community groups; and much-improved wireless broadband facilities delivered in partnership with a local provider. Learn more about the local community benefits. Learn more about the local community benefits.
We are also actively engaged with other financial firms regarding shared access to the mast to minimise the impact on the local area. We now have agreements in place with other firms, which eliminates the need for them to build masts of their own.
How is the mast’s height determined?
To enable a reliable data connection, the mast requires both ‘optical line-of-sight’ and ‘radio line-of-sight’ links to Europe. Given the distance to be covered, and the curvature of the earth, the proposed mast will be 322m tall, the height required to establish an unobstructed connection. Our studies of the required signal length are illustrated below.
Richborough 322m – Europe
Even at the proposed height of 322m, the radio beam is barely clearing the water.
Richborough 45m – Europe
An assessment of the existing towers in the Manston area found that they are not suitable. As an example, an existing 45m tower in Thanet located at a higher elevation cannot establish radio communication as the link is completely obstructed.
Richborough 220m – Europe
A reduced height of the tower in Richborough to 220m, would also cause a break in the radio link.