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"Eyesore" 5G mobile pole plans in Bridgwater refused
United Kingdom Created: 20 Oct 2021
Three UK said there was an 'acute need' for the new facilities in the town.

Plans to build a new 5G mobile phone mast in Bridgwater have been quashed after residents described the proposed pole as an "eyesore".

Proposals were submitted to Sedgemoor District Council in August this year by mobile phone provider Three UK to build a 17-metre-high pole providing improved 5G coverage on Whitfield Road, Bridgwater.

The plan would also see three further equipment cabinets to serve the mast built in the surrounding area.

Three said in its application to Sedgemoor District Council that high-speed connectivity was "the lifeblood of a community" and that improved mobile coverage and 5G would bring benefits to everyone in the community, where it says there is an "acute need" for new equipment to improve coverage.

The planning statement said: "In these unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is recognised that high-speed mobile connectivity is the lifeblood of a community; facilitating educational benefits, providing access to vital services, improving communications with the associated commercial benefits for local businesses, enabling e-commerce and facilitating the increased need and demand for working from home, as well as enjoying access to social, media and gaming for leisure time activities.

"There is an acute need for a new base station to provide effective service coverage and in this case, the height of the proposed street pole is the minimum required to bring the benefits of 5G to this area.

"The very nature of installing new 5G mast infrastructure within such an urban setting requires a highly considered balance between the need to extend practical coverage reach with that of increasing risk of visual amenity intrusion."

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However, the council stated in its judgement that prior approval would be needed to construct the mast and that such approval would not be given.

The council's decision said that it would refuse approval for the construction of the pole, for the fact that it "would result in a detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the street scene and residential character of the area".

Residents of the surrounding area also objected vehemently to the proposal.

Michael Horsell described the proposed structure as an "eyesore" and stated that it would cause visibility problems for motorists coming through the area.

He wrote through the council's planning portal: "I object to the proposal of placing a new 5G mast on Whitfield Road, Bridgwater. Having seen the plans it will be a disgusting eyesore.

"There must be a better position for the mast - it will cause obstructions to motorists not being able to see people approaching the crossing."

Simon Tottle, also objecting, said that there was "no need" for the pole in the area since houses around the site used broadband or Wifi for their internet connection rather than mobile phone coverage.

He wrote: "I do not feel there is any need for a 5G mast to be erected in a residential area, due to the fact that the majority of houses use broadband/wifi for their main connection to internet."
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Source: Somerset Live, Jack Colwill, 18 Oct 2021

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