Council votes to object to 18m 5G mast due to highway safety
- Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske
A parish council has objected to plans for an 18-metre tall 5G mast to be erected in a village centre over highway safety concerns.
At an Overstand Parish Council meeting on Thursday night around 35 residents were in attendance to express their concerns and hear the council's decision, with many more lining the street outside.
When making the decision to object, chair Bruce Stratton said the council "does not object to the mast itself, but to the location", adding it would "obscure the view of traffic" on a busy road close to the Belfry Centre and a school.
At the start of the meeting, Overstrand district councillor Angie Fitch-Tillet said she couldn't give her opinion due to her position on the North Norfolk Council development committee, but added: "I am very aware of the feelings of residents and have discussed them with the district council who are taking comments into consideration."
Ms Fitch-Tillett said developer, WHP Telecoms, refused an extension to the process, saying a decision would be made before August 4.
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Residents were then asked to give their comments.
One commenter said that a lollipop lady had recently been struck by a car on the junction, adding: "Kids are already taking their life into their own hands on that road."
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He added it was not the developer's preferred site, saying the area on the village edge was turned down due to the effect on residents, despite being located in a field.
Mr Stratton then took a vote on whether the public were for or against plans and all hands were raised against, including those outside, who even put their hands through the doorway to be seen.
He warned, however, that as the application was a permitted development it would not need to go through normal planning approval as long as it met the criteria.
All councillors who spoke expressed concern over the plans when it was time to make a decision, with Gordon Partridge chair of the planning committee saying: "I cannot see why we should do no more than reject this application."
Views from the village
Following the meeting, others in the village shared their views on the proposed mast.
Chris Browne, who lives in Pauls Lane, next to where the mast is planned to be installed said the application had caused him a lot of stress and sleepless nights.
Mr Browne said he thought the location of the mast was "ludicrous" and feared it could present a "pivotal" moment for Overstrand.
He said: "My concern is that it's really going to drag the village down as a community. It's upsetting a lot of people, not just me.
"We have a lovely little village and it's going to wreck it.
"The village will get used to it, we are going to have these masts. A lot of visitors into Overstrand from Cromer Road, a lot of them go down Pauls Lane. It's going to be a distraction," he said.
Angie Fitch-Tillett, ward councillor for Coastal, said she had asked for the plans to be considered by the council's development committee, but it had not yet been confirmed if this would happen.