Plan for 5G mast close to school prompts concerns

Proposed grass verge site for 5G mast in Ashwell village

The proposed site for the 5G mast is close to homes and Ashwell Primary School - Credit: Google Maps

A planning application to erect a 5G mast close to a primary school has been met with objections from people concerned about health risks, road safety and it being an "ugly eyesore" in the centre of a picturesque village.

Three UK wants to put an 18-metre tall 5G mast on the grass verge at the junction of Ashwell Street and Bear Lane in Ashwell, along with a wraparound cabinet and four equipment cabinets.

The site is on a residential street and close to Ashwell Primary School, and the application to North Herts District Council has resulted in numerous objections.

Katie Cripps, of Bear Lane, said: "Not only will it be an ugly eyesore in our beautiful village, but it is right outside a school - a horrific thought when no one knows the long-term problems these will bring.

"It will also create a blind spot on the bend."

Geraldine Watling, of Ashwell Street, called the proposed mast "an unsightly intrusion on the village", adding that "the view for drivers coming from Ashwell Street to the sharp bend into Bear Lane would be restricted by the cabinets".

Dominic Murdin, of Ashwell's Chalk Bank Close, said: "Our house looks directly at this corner and every day we witness near-miss car accidents. Any more obstructions would make this corner a death trap.

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"I am also extremely concerned about the health issues surrounding 5G masts. As a father, the only responsible action I could take to this installation would be to move."

A Three spokesman said: “5G rollout is vital for residents and businesses of Ashwell. 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.

“The 5G rollout by all UK mobile network operators complies with all global standards on health and safety which have been developed since the early 1990s – you can see recent independent testing from Ofcom here and find more information via #5gcheckthefacts on social media.”

To lodge your views with the council, visit pa2.north-herts.gov.uk/online-applications or write to Planning Control, NHDC, PO Box 10613, NG6 6DW quoting 21/02184/TD by August 20.

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