Still time to have your say on application for 5G mast on residential estate

CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd's plans for a 3 network 5G mast outside Royston Evangelical Church 

CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd's plans for a 3 network 5G mast outside Royston Evangelical Church - Credit: CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd

An application to erect an 18m 5G mast outside Royston Evangelical Church is under consultation - and you can still make your views known if you're quick. 

Last week, the Crow ran a story about a 5G mast proposal in Ashwell - and now others have shared concerns about a potential mast on land by the church - though the church is not involved with the application.

Proposed grass verge site for 5G mast in Ashwell village

The Ashwell 5G mast site - Credit: Google Maps

The location is on the corner of York Way and Old North Road, near the roundabout with Burns Road. 

Matthew O'Brien, who lives in Willowside Way, told the Crow: "We are against the locating of a massive eyesore of a mast in a residential area close to Roman Way Academy when there are other areas nearby were it could be located.

"I am using a mobile phone now, it's 4G, and I am not against 5G. However, I think - like a lot of the residents have said - the concern is the location and the size. I am not against 5G, There are some people who are against 5G for various reasons, but I am not. 

CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd, which runs 3 UK phone network, wants to install a 5G mast outside Royston Evangelical Church

CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd, which runs 3 UK phone network, wants to install a 5G mast outside Royston Evangelical Church, near the Burns Road housing estate. - Credit: CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd

"There are comments in the application that say it has vertical lines that will match with the lampposts. But its 18m high, it will overshadow everyone's gardens. It's on one of the gateways into the town so it will look terrible. 


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"We have a very large industrial estate, and you could build something a little bit taller so you get the same coverage but that would be better for residents.

"The actual pole they are proposing to put up is for one company, so that implies more could be built. What will stop companies saying let's build another, and then two or three go up? 

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"I am not against 5G in my back yard, I just think it could be better thought out.  

"We have support from the town council who have also rejected this proposal but we need it to be rejected by NHDC, who are currently planning on deciding on this application through delegation rather than a committee meeting."

Of the 17 public comments in North Herts District Council's online consultation, one is in support of the application - it reads: "Addition of coverage will greatly benefit those in the town with slow internet speeds."

The comments objecting include: "concerned about potential health risks associated with being in constant proximity to the signal being emitted."

Another comment says: "The proposed mast would be in a residential, already congested area. It would be a huge obtrusive blot on the landscape!

"Although health risks are not proven surely it would be sensible to site the mast in an unpopulated/less populated area of Royston, of which there are many. In the future when health risks may be evident it will be too late to resite the mast."

Another says: "I wish to object to the proposed planning for a 5G mast on Old North Road as there are lots of houses in the vicinity with children's bedrooms in close proximity. This proposal will in turn devalue the house prices for hundreds of homes and be an absolute eyesore.

"As there is a huge industrial site where Aldi is away from homes surely this could be put somewhere like this which is much more suitable."

In February 2020, the World Health Organisation said: "To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies. Health-related conclusions are drawn from studies performed across the entire radio spectrum but, so far, only a few studies have been carried out at the frequencies to be used by 5G."

And in December the same year, multinational firm Deloitte concluded that 5G was not hazardous to human health, saying fears 5G causes cancer or the radiation emitted causes a weakened immune system were "grossly overblown". 

However it is generally acknowledged that it is early days, relatively speaking. 

A Three spokesman said: “5G rollout is vital for residents and businesses of Royston. We want to offer the community a reliable network experience and this site will be critical to making that happen.

“Masts need to be situated where people will be using the service and, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage. We carry out extensive searches and surveys to evaluate all the options. We then choose the option most likely to gain planning approval from the local council. This will include showing we have minimised the impact on residents and the locality.”

To make your views known about the proposal - whether you are for or against - go to https://pa2.north-herts.gov.uk/online-applications/ and use reference  21/02179/TD by Friday this week - August 20.

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