Opposition mounts to proposed Linslade 5G mast, but phone company insists site is crucial to providing reliable network
'At 18m tall, the mast will be 4.5 times higher than the average house and almost the same height as the Angel of the North!'
Opposition is mounting over a planned 18-metre phone mast in Linslade, but the phone company says the proposed site is "critical" to providing customers with a reliable network.
Applicant CK Hutchison Networks has submitted its scheme for the towering 5G phone mast opposite 1 Orchard Drive in Bunkers Lane.
Unless the application is called in by Central Beds Councillors, it will be decided by delegated powers, with a target decision date of September 24.
So far, ward councillors Victoria Harvey, Peter Snelling and Gordon Perham have been consulted along with 22 neighbours. From these, 17 objections have been received and one response in favour.
Resident Neil Bradford said he was concerned that not enough neighbours had been consulted about the plans, which had been submitted during the summer holidays.
He told the LBO: "Of course greater connectivity benefits all of us, but one internet search of 5G masts shows that they have caused controversy and upset all over the country for a variety of reasons.
"To decide these matters behind closed doors through delegated powers, without any meaningful public debate, seems extremely unfair.
"At 18m tall, the mast will be 4.5 times higher than the average house and almost the same height as the Angel of the North!"
Among its many holdings, CK Hutchison owns the Three mobile phone service, the fourth largest provider in the UK with nearly 13 million registered users.
In a letter to Central Beds Council's head of planning, agent WHP Telecoms wrote: "The location has been identified as being necessary for CK Hutchison Network's business development and meets its specific technical and operational requirements.
"The identification of this location follows a pre-application discussion with your department and now we make a formal to you as planning authority."
A Three spokesperson told the LBO it had carried out the normal consultation required, adding: “5G rollout is vital for residents and businesses of Linslade. We want to offer the community a reliable network experience and this site will be critical to making that happen.
“Masts needs to be situated where people will be using the service and, 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.”
Residents have until September 15 to submit comments, which can be sent to planning officer Eleanor Keep at CBC's head office in Chicksands via post, or by emailing [email protected]. Quote planning reference CB/21/03566/TD when submitting comments.
To view the plans in full, visit here.