'Take down 5G monstrosity mast' demand furious Shrewsbury residents alleging underhand tactics
Furious residents have demanded a “monstrosity” 5G mast be taken down, claiming it is so close to their homes and overbearing that it amounts to a breach of the Human Rights Act.
People living in the Eden Close area of Underdale, Shrewsbury, awoke to find a huge 16-metre mast had been installed virtually in their back gardens.
They claim it had been done without "any engagement or consultation from Shropshire Council or CK Hutchison Networks UK Ltd, owner of the mobile network Three".
Residents say the mast is an eyesore, fear it could cause an accident near a busy traffic island, and could have a detrimental effect on the value of their homes.
Shrewsbury Town Council did not object to the mast when the proposal was lodged on Shropshire Council's website. It was the only public comment recorded on the planning application.
Jane Francis, whose house immediately backs on to where the mast is sited on Robertson Way, said: “Everyone on the estate is incensed about the underhand tactics and how this has come about.
“There were no letters or signs put on lampposts during the planning process and absolutely no attempt to engage with the community or understand our feelings. To even further demonstrate their contempt for us, they installed it late at night.”
Debbie Feasey, who lives next door, said: “Whereas before I used to go in my back garden and see trees, now I have to look at this monstrosity every day. The Human Rights Act gives the right to respect for private and family life and also allows for the peaceful enjoyment of possessions. All that has been shattered by this mast because it’s so big, towers over our gardens and intrudes on our properties.”
Sue Porter, another neighbour said: “There is no screening at all. There is just a mast there that towers above the trees and you can see virtually all of it. It’s also huge compared to the nearby lampposts and is a completely different colour, so how they can say it’s not overly prominent and in keeping with the environment is laughable.
“What’s also worrying is how close it’s situated to the traffic island, which is used by children to get to school every day. The mast is so prominent that motorists could easily be distracted by it and cause an accident.”
Mrs Feasey also added, “While the government says 5G masts are safe, many of us are worried about the unknown long-term impact of living so close to one. Local estate agents have told us that the mast could have reduced the value of our homes overnight.”
The residents have now enlisted the support of Councillor David Vasmer and have asked for an audience with MP Daniel Kawczynski.
Local Councillor, David Vasmer, who now supports the residents in their appeal, said “To site such a high and substantial mast just a few metres from people’s homes is clearly wrong and breaches guidance issued by the Government.
"Shropshire County Council should be reviewing their decision and entering negotiations with the developers to resite the mast at a reasonable distance from residential areas.”
An application for permitted development had been lodged on the Shropshire Council website.
Council planners in their decision notice said they considered it was not an additional site as it replaced a previously approved scheme to the west of Spring Gardens. They are at odds with residents however on whether the site is effectively screened.
Planners said: "The supporting information highlights that other sites have been considered and discounted with the application site identified as the most suitable option that balances operational need with local and national planning policies and that it will deliver public benefit in terms of the mobile services it will provide.
"The proposed development would enable the expansion of the 5G telecommunications network in the area and is supported in principle by national and local planning policies. The siting and appearance of the installation would be acceptable and therefore prior approval is not required."