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Joy as 5G mast 'monstrosity' removed from Coventry road
United Kingdom Created: 13 Nov 2022
The Three mast was less than 4 metres from one person's home.

A 5G mast dubbed "a monstrosity" by Coventry residents has been removed after a phone company failed to get planning permission for it. Three were forced to take down their 15-metre pole at William Groubb Close in Binley after both Coventry council and a government inspector refused to grant it approval.

Residents of the street were outraged when the mast was built close to their homes without any warning in November last year. The 15-metre pole was put up less than 4m away from one house and on a small green in front of eight homes.

Following its arrival, resident Helena Clifford told CoventryLive: "Itís an eyesore, a monstrosity, and it's unlawful. Everybody is up in arms about it. Iím angry." Three submitted a retrospective application to the City Council that month, after the authority said their previous submission was not valid.

But the bid to keep the mast was met with strong opposition from locals. More than a hundred people signed a petition sponsored by ward councillor Christine Thomas against the "unsightly" mast.

And 31 people also wrote to the council urging them not to give it the green light, with one person even claiming it was affecting their mental health. After the council's decision to reject the mast, Three lodged an appeal with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

But a planning inspector appointed by the government sided with the council and dismissed the appeal in September. Her report concluded that "in the circumstances of this case, national and local policy support for a high quality digital communications network does not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the area."

Three were ordered to remove the mast within two months. Photos showing the mast being taken down were posted to Facebook on Monday (31 October.)

A member of a community group for the area commented: "So glad itís down! Well done for fighting it, neighbours." Another wrote: "See what happens when people work together! Things get done!"

A Coventry City Council Spokesperson said: "The 5G telecommunications mast was installed without the necessary permission in October 2021 and a retrospective planning permission was submitted, which was refused. An Enforcement Notice was served in January 2022, requiring the mast to be removed within two months.

"The telecommunications company appealed to the Secretary of State following the Enforcement Notice, so it was suspended until the outcome of the appeal was determined. On September 1, the City Councilís decision was upheld and so the Enforcement Notice came back into force, meaning the mast had to be removed no later than November 2022."

A Three spokesperson said: "5G rollout is vital for the residents and businesses of Coventry. We want to offer the local area a great network experience and a new site on William Groubb Close was installed to deliver improved service.

"Following the refusal of a retrospective planning application the mast has been removed and we are arranging for the removal of its cabinets."
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Source: Coventry Telegraph, Ellie Brown, 04 Nov 2022

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