Residents speak out against 'outlandish' 5G mast planned for village near Leamington

Many residents are not against a 5G mast but are unhappy with the location

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 2:54 pm
Updated Monday, 13th September 2021, 5:12 pm

Residents have spoken out against plans for an 'outlandish' 5G mast in a village near Leamington.

The proposals have been submitted by CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd who is looking to put the mast on a verge near a bus stop in Hunningham.

Since the application was submitted to Warwick District Council many residents and the Joint Parish Council of Eathorpe, Hunningham, Offchurch and Wappenbury have objected to the plans.

Residents in Hunningham are speaking out against plans for a 5G phone mast as they feel the location is wrong. Photo supplied

Many reasons given for the objections is down to the mast's location.

Simon Shackleton, chair of the Parish Council, said: "I have no issues with 5G coming to the village however, I would prefer to have an opportunity to work with the applicant (Telecommunications equipment provider) to find a mutually agreeable location.

"I do object to the proposed location as it will have a major impact on those that live closest to the mast, it would be a dominant feature in their daily lives and this seems an insensitive choice.

"Also, the village has tried to maintain its rural appeal not just for residents but all those people who visit on recreational activities mostly walking and cycling - the mast would be an outlandish structure in the central part of the village.

Where the planned 5G mast could go. Photo submitted

"We are a small village less than 80 households however, 24 formal written objections to the planning department have been returned by villagers, notwithstanding the objection from the Joint Parish Council of Eathorpe, Hunningham, Offchurch and Wappenbury.

"The general feelings amongst those residents has been shock, anger and disappointment by the choice of location, all are seemingly positive about accepting 5G technology in our area and have been keen to support other sites close by that would minimise the visual impact."

As well as concerns about this mast some have also voiced concerns about the change to the planning process when it comes to telecommunication masts being installed.

Simon added: "My understanding is that a permitted development can go through the planning process within as little as 14 days of application unless there is an objection raised in that time - hence anyone affected by such a planning proposal will need to be alert and quick to react.

"If an objection is raised at that point the district council should meet to consider the application and issue letters to those immediately affected by such a development and consider any further objections within a specified timeframe.

"A warning to all since the changes in April 2021 - operators can install masts as tall as 25m whereas before they were only allowed a maximum of 15m tall using permitted development rights - that is a significant difference in stature and visual impact.

"These changes to planning have been placed on all district councils throughout the country due to the ambition of the Government to improve 5G access.

"I am sure the majority of us would like to see and use such technology however, it is the way that these developments are being carried out giving telecommunications operators too much leeway to go for the lowest cost option with little regard to the impact on residents in our cities, towns, villages and countryside."

A Three spokesperson said: “Access to 5G has a vital role to play in boosting local economies, helping residents and businesses get faster and more reliable network coverage.

"This is why we’re working with the local council and Warwick District Council to roll out the UK’s fastest 5G network so that we can keep everyone connected both now and in the future.

“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they do need to be situated near to where people will be using the service and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.

"We carry out extensive searches and surveys to evaluate all the options.

"We then choose the option most likely to gain planning approval from the local council. This will include showing we have minimised the impact on residents and the locality.”

To view the planning application go to Warwick District Council's planning portal and search: W/21/1485/TC