Business news | opposition from West Berkshire Council to new 5G antennas




Following local objections, a council will compel telecom corporations to go through a more rigorous planning process for additional phone masts.


To hasten the spread of 4G and 5G throughout England, the government this year loosened planning restrictions.


It allowed for the installation of masts that were both taller and wider without obtaining council consent.


However, West Berkshire Council recently rejected proposals in Newbury and Purley to avoid going through the entire planning process.


The new poles, according to the council, would have a detrimental effect on the neighborhood, were the wrong color, and posed a risk to road safety.


Council planners in Newbury rejected plans for a single 20-meter-tall pole at the intersection of Shaw Road and Kiln Road, claiming it would negatively affect the aesthetic of neighboring conservation areas and historically significant buildings.


But several of the affected residents doubt the council will be able to prevent the construction of the structures.


'Mockery of the rules'


By national law, "permitted development"—which allows phone masts—can be approved without a planning application.


Only an application for "prior approval" from the local planning authority is necessary for telecom companies.


This is what West Berkshire Council has refuted.


However, operators can now erect taller and wider 5G masts without local clearance thanks to modifications made to the law in April.


Masts built on structures outside of conservation areas that are less than six meters in height above the ground are exempt from needing complete planning permission or prior council approval.


By the revised regulations, new masts may be erected up to 30 meters above ground level on unprotected territory or 25 meters in areas designated as conservation areas or sites of particular scientific significance.


The planning regulations are made a mockery, according to resident Brian Withers.


Resident Antony Walls voiced concern about the proposed mast location being close to a nursery and schools.


He claimed that there was little solid support for other potential locations and that it appeared that the spot had been chosen solely for business reasons.


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