Adlington residents protest over "eyesore" 5G mast proposals

Residents in a Lancashire village are protesting over proposals to site a 20 metre high 5G mast on a main street.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 4:49 pm

They have spoken out after plans for the mast and four equipment cabinets were submitted to Chorley Borough Council for a site at the junction of Chorley Road and Daisy Hill Drive in Adlington.

Roger Galley, who lives on Chorley Road near the proposed site, has suggested three alternative "less obtrusive" locations - including one on land directly to the rear of his garden on the perimeter of local playing fields.

He alerted other local residents to the plans after expressing concern that not enough residents had been notified of the proposed development by the council. He said: "This affects mnore people."

Roger Galley is alerting other local residents to the proposals for a 20 metre high mast to be sited on this street in Adlington.

Roger said it is regarded as potential eyesore and would be a "visual detriment" to the area. He said: : "It's about 25 metres away from my house. It's five metres away froma shop, a residential flat. It's on a footpath in a very open exposed location and can be seen directly from the widows of about 30/40 homes.The top of the aerial is going to be visible from about a mile radius."

Roger added: "We are not seeking to be obstructive to the provision of enhanced mobile phone connectivity; however we believe it can be done in a much more empathetic manner."

He decided to copy the public notice alerting residents to the proposals and hand delivered another 60 notifications of the planning application, complete with a Photoshopped illustration he made of what the mast might look like on site and said: "The reaction was shocked."

The two other potential sites he is suggesting for the mast are the local BT/Open Reach compound or on Harding Street, beyond Brian’s Car Repair Shop.

The junction where the mast could be sited

CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd is the company seeking planning permission for the mast with surveyors Sinclair Dalby acting as its agent.

Last night objectors were due to take their concerns to a meeting of Adlington Town Council. Roger wrote to the council urging members "to make representations, rather than reject the installation outright, instead require the developer to engage proactively to agree a more appropriate location."

He said Government guidance made it clear noone could object on the grounds it woud devalue their property or because of concerns about electromagnetic radiation. He said: "The only thing the council can have a valid input (on) is the visual amenity."

He added there were also concerns about the four cabinets which would be sited by the mast. He said he disagreed with the applicant's statement that existing street furniture would help the installation blend in, as that "furniture" consisted of one street lamp and a litter bin about one metre high.

Roger Galley in the garden of his home on Chorley Road - he has suggested the 5G mast would be better sited on the playing field perimeter outside his boundary - as it would be screened by the conifers in his garden and be less obtrusive. Photo: Neil Cross

The planning application details how several alternative sites were considered for the mast but were not suitable and notes: "The site is primarily required to provide new 5G coverage and capacity to the area surrounding the site. It would also improve 4G coverage and capacity ... The site lies within a predominantly residential area however is next to a commercial premises on a wide area of pavement."

It noted: "The location of the equipment ensures only limited harm to the area. Whilst it would be visible it is considered this impact would be not be excessive. The minimal footprint of the site would ensure impact is kept to an acceptable level. The pole has a slim and unfussy design and would have a grey finish to maximise the screening effect from the surrounding street furniture and tall lamp posts and allow it to assimilate successfully into its surroundings. The ancillary equipment cabinets are also proposed to be grey in colour."

The statement concluded: "The benefits of the proposal also have to be considered ... it is considered the significant public benefit to the larger area outweighs the minimal impact on visual and residential amenity in the immediate area."

The 20 metre monopole. would support six antennas and two transmission dishes and the application said: "The proposal strikes an appropriate balance between operational and environmental considerations and that the impact of the development would be outweighed by the significant public benefit of the proposal."

View of the pavement area on Chorley Road

The application advised: "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. It has been acknowledged by Government that we must ensure that we have the infrastructure in place to deliver 5G across our major centres and transport networks."

The mast would also enhance 4G coverage in the area.

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One of the alternative sites Roger has suggested for the 5G mast