Objectors gather to protest against 60ft 5G phone mast plans
- Credit: Derek Johnston
More than 100 people have gathered to protest a planned mobile phone mast branded a "ridiculous application in a totally unsuitable place".
Residents of Overstrand gathered at the junction of Cromer Road and Pauls Lane to express their anger over the plan for the 60ft (18 metre) phone mast at the spot, which is near the Belfry Centre for music and arts and the Belfry Primary School.
North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, who was there to hear residents concerns, said: "Whilst I wholly agree that better telecommunications infrastructure is needed, we do not need them to be put in such ill-thought out locations.
"It will clearly obscure visibility on the roads, and for a beautiful village like Overstrand to have a 60ft mast right in the centre, rarely have I seen such an ill-thought out and ridiculous application."
Mr Baker called the consultation process over the mast "rather short" as signs had only gone up two days before a parish council meeting, at which councillors voted to object to the scheme.
WHP Telecoms has put in the application for the 5G mast - which will be used by the network Three - to North Norfolk District Council.
Derek Johnston, 62, one of the residents who was at the protest, said he was concerned over the potential visual impact of the mast, and said it could create a blind spot for traffic.
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Mr Johnston, who has lived in the village for about six years, said: "There's a lot of cars that come out there - it's already a restricted view and this is going to make it even worse. The main concerns are for the school, and the safety and visual impact.
"I don't think it's going to give them additional coverage for the Three network, so it seems like a bit of an eyesore for no benefit."
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Overstrand district councillor Angie Fitch-Tillet has asked for the plan to go before the council's development committee, but that a decision on whether the mast can go ahead is due to be made before August 4.
WHP Telecoms has been contacted for comment.