A ‘monster’ mobile phone mast is set to be installed at a busy road junction in Sutton Coldfield, if applications from EE and Three are given the go-ahead.
Via the joint venture company between EE and Three called, MBNL, they have applied for permission to install a ‘phase 7 monopole’ at the junction of Sutton Oak Road and Chester Road North.
The mast would stand at 20 metres, which is almost double the height of the existing installation.
Sutton Vesey councillor, Rob Pocock, has spoken out about both his and the resident’s concerns surrounding the new mast: “This monster mast is totally unacceptable for this local area,” wrote Pocock, in an open letter.
He went on to say that, “it is out of character for the area, destructive of the attractive local amenity, and a dangerous distraction for drivers using this busy junction."
However, in the application document, MBNL defended the mast by explaining that, “the next generation of mobile telephony is 5G and it brings a revolutionary speech to managing spectrum and greatly increased data speeds. The advantages this presents range from near-instant downloads of HD films to connected cars, smart medical devices and smart cities.”
The document went on to say: “Although 5G will undoubtedly bring new opportunities and huge benefits to society, we cannot escape from the requirement that new structures, antennas and ancillary equipment will be needed.”
Whilst 5G will provide much faster connectivity and allow for new technology, it seems that many councils aren’t best pleased. The 5G roll-out has already been criticized by councils, which have limited legal powers to reject phone mast applications.
And in a move that may anger councils even further, the government has just launched a national proposal that would remove the power to reject these new constructions from the council entirely.
This would result in companies no longer needing to apply for planning permission, and they would be granted a blanket ‘permitted development right’. But this would make sense, because as the 5G roll-out begins to gain momentum, new phone masts will have to be built in many locations.