The proposed 322 metre communications mast would have provided a high-speed data connection between financial institutions in the UK and Europe and, as part of Vigilant’s commitment to supporting the communities in which it operates, would have provided a Community Benefit Fund worth a minimum of £2 million over the mast’s operational lifetime. The planning application went before Dover District Council’s Planning Committee in January 2017 and the formal decision issued in February.
Vigilant has forged strong links with several local community organisations and businesses, including Great Oaks Small School, Sandwich Technology School, Sir Roger Manwood’s School, and VFast. Notwithstanding the planning decision, Vigilant has made a number of financial contributions to help provide much needed IT and communications facilities within the schools.
Vigilant will maintain these positive relationships and explore alternative, less intrusive ways in which it can enhance the communications infrastructure in the area to meet the technical requirements of the financial sector, as well as provide benefits to the local community.
Speaking about the support provided to Sandwich Technology School, Business Manager Andy Fisher said:
“Sandwich Technology School was able to install a new phone system and double our broadband capacity thanks to Vigilant’s generosity. As a result we have been able to focus our own limited resources on our priorities – teaching and learning. We would welcome working with the Vigilant team again in the future.”
Eric Bellerive, Director of Global Networks at Vigilant, said:
“We have listened to and carefully considered the feedback of local community members and their elected councillors. Out of respect for that feedback, we have chosen not to appeal the Dover District Council’s decision.
“We always seek to work collaboratively with the communities in which we operate. I’m proud of the contributions we have made to three great schools within the District and that we have established many positive relationships here. I appreciate the community’s participation throughout the planning process.”