Sefton Council has granted planning permission for a 15m tall 5G mast to be constructed at the corner of Park Road and Roe Lane.
Planning permission for an 18m mast was sought by CK Hutchinson Networks earlier in the year, however, due to the level of public response, the Council negotiated a drop to 15m, which CK say is the minimum height necessary for the mast to work.
In an assessment report, a Sefton Council planning officer said that: “while it would not necessarily make a positive contribution to the surrounding area it is unlikely to cause significant visual harm or otherwise detract from its wider character” and that “there is a reasonable separation from residential properties.”
A number of other sites, including one in close proximity to Norwood school, were considered but ultimately rejected.
Sefton Council received 5 objections to the plans that included health/radiation concerns, placement objections and claims that phone signal in the area is already of acceptable quality.
One resident’s submission said: “There are many children and families in the area, this is not acceptable” while another read: “The lack of clarity surrounding the potential health risks associated with 5G masts and electromagnetic radiation is a concern and will cause anxiety installed in such a densely populated area.”
Another said simply: “Please note that my wife and I vehemently object to this application. Nothing could be less acceptable in a residential area.”
A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “We have, in line with national planning framework rules, approved plans for the erection of a telecommunications mast on land near Roe Lane, Southport.
“During the open representation period of this application, Sefton Council’s planning team received seven public representations, both in support of and against the proposed mast.
“As with every planning application, all comments, concerns and views are fully taken into consideration alongside the rules set out within the National Planning Policy Framework as set out by Central Government.
“While health matters are often a strong cause of concern for the local community in relation to telecommunications masts, the applicant in this case has provided the appropriate certification to confirm they are within the exposure guidelines as set out by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
“In this case, the applicant also considered alternative sites, and this is detailed in their submission. The alternative sites assessment is sufficiently detailed and provides operational and material planning reasons why alternative sites have been discounted.
“Furthermore the mast was reduced in height by 3 metres during the assessment of the application to help reduce its visual impact to an acceptable level.
“The application was therefore considered to be compliant with the provisions and guidelines of the National Planning Policy Framework and the ICNIRP.”
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