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Fury as 5G mast planned just yards from where previous site rejected

A councillor has reacted with fury after a telecoms giant evealed plans for a new 5G mast in green space in Sutton Coldfield, just yards from where a previous site was rejected.

Hutchison Networks (UK) and mobile operator, Hutchison 3G, better known as Three, has sent proposals for a new 15 metre 5G mast on a green patch of land in Heath Croft Road to interested parties.

The proposal is for a 15-metre-high monopole with six antennas and four equipment cabinets, at the western end of the road close to its junction with Little Sutton Lane.

Read more: Concerns giant 20m 5G mast plan would ‘destroy street scene’

The location is just yards away from a site which has previously been rejected by Birmingham City Council’s planning department. That proposal was for a 20-metre 5G monopole in Little Sutton Lane.

And Cllr Ewan Mackey (Sutton Roughley) has slammed Three for ‘continuing to ignore the views of their customers and our community’ and said the new mast, like the old one would ‘ruin the street scene, once and for all’.

While the new mast is five metres shorter, Cllr Mackey said to all intents and purposes it was the same application just six yards away from where one was comprehensively rejected. He said he was opposed to the proposal which was a ‘pre-application consultation’ at this stage.

Cllr Ewan Mackey said the new 5G mast proposed by Three looked like a ‘military installation’ after reviewing its proposal documents

Cllr Mackey told BirminghamLive: “I’m really cross about it. It’s the same people again. They did an application which was rejected last year.

“They had six months to appeal that decision if they weren’t happy with it but instead they have chosen Heath Croft Road as the address as opposed to Little Sutton Lane.

“They have moved the proposed location six yards to the left and given it the Heath Croft Road address. It’s moved from one kerb to the other.

“I’m not against 5G technology. It’s just the way Three are implementing it.”

Read more: Warning to 5G operators accused of cutting costs with mast plans

He continued: “The new mast would be 15 metres high. The four boxes looks like some military installation. They are head height and you’d have to stretch to get your arms around them.

“They are just destroying the street scene. It’s a beautiful green and they are putting a mast there because it’s free for them.

“There are commercial locations nearby. It’s not for me to find them a site. They are putting it in the middle of a residential area.

“It’s the green they have chosen. It’s insulting. It’s almost as it Three don’t want any customers!”

Read more: ‘It is huge’ – 5G mast plan towers over homes in Short Heath

Cllr Mackey said the issue with 5G masts appears to nearly always be Three and not the other big operators.

He added: “Why don’t you learn from what your competition is doing. Something sympathetic that doesn’t destroy the street scene.

“I have written back to the company that sent me the pre-application consultation and said I am against it for the same reasons I was against the previous proposed mast.

“There are places nearby. I would suggest no-one wants this equipment outside their house.

“We have all got to pull together in this world. There are other ways of installing this equipment.”

Fury as 5G mast planned just yards from where previous site rejected
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What did Birmingham planners say about original 5G mast plan?

At the time of the original application at the end of last year, the city council’s planners rejected Three’s 5G mast proposal and said it would be ‘inappropriately sited in a sensitive location on a green open space within close proximity to residential properties’.

The decision document dated December 24 continued and said: “Insufficient evidence has been provided that there are no reasonable alternative options.” Planning chiefs said the proposed equipment would be ‘by virtue of its size and siting exposed and prominent in the street scene to the detriment of visual amenity’.

And added at 20 metres the proposed monopole would be ‘prominent in the street scene and highly obtrusive, resulting in unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the area’.

As an aside the planning department said Three had not ‘adequately demonstrated that the proposal would not have an adverse impact on nearby trees’.

What has Three said?

In response to the criticism Three said the original plan, which was refused, was for a 20 metre mast so this plan is for a 15-metre one.

It said it was ’responding to the issues raised by reducing the height of the mast and we are also planning to take an arboreal report, to address the point raised about impact on trees’. It added it was ‘only pre consultation at the moment’.

Read more: Fury at plans to erect ‘eyesore’ 5G mast in middle of estate

A Three spokeswoman said: “5G rollout is vital for residents and businesses in Sutton Coldfield. 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.”

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