Councillors fight to halt plans for 'monster mast'

Councillors are fighting to prevent a ‘monster mast’ being built in Sutton.

The corner of Chester road North and Honiley Drive
The corner of Chester road North and Honiley Drive

Chronicle Week revealed last week how Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council has objected to plans for a 20m high mast on Chester Road North, near the junction with Honiley Drive.

The town council’s planning committee expressed concern at the loss of green space and scale of the proposal.

And Vesey ward councillors have now expressed their determination to fight the plan, put forward by Hutchison 3G UK Ltd.

Vesey councillor Alison Jolley said: “Several residents contacted me and raised concerns because the mast is 20m/65ft.

“It’s absolutely massive and is taller than the trees there and the houses.

“It’s terrible.It’s excessive and totally unacceptable and I’m proud the Town council is making a stand and calling for action.

“There must be a more suitable area for it as right now it is in a place which blots out the size of homes.We have raised a formal objection to the mast which is out of keeping with the surrounding area.”

Councillor Rob Pocock voiced his concerns and has launched a petition.

“We all rely on mobile phones but this is simply an unacceptable ‘monster mast’ in an unsuitable location,” he said.

“It will be towering over people’s homes in this residential area, and a vast visual blot on the landscape amenity of the neighbourhood.

“It would be plonked right in the most prominent and intrusive location and right by a main road, with no trees or screening anywhere near that height to shield it.”

“What’s more, its beside a busy road where children cross to the New Oscott Primary School, which makes it really dangerous if drivers are distracted by its vast and overbearing size.

“Councils have very few powers nowadays to turn down these phone masts, as the government have granted the telecoms industry nationally, extensive ‘permitted development rights’.

“This means that they can just slap a mast up pretty much wherever they like and there’s not much that councils or residents can do about it nowadays.

“However the petitionI’ve got going round, is calling on the council to try to reject it using the very limited powers they have left. It’s going to be a tough call but worth the effort, so fingers crossed!”

A Three spokesperson said: “Access to 5G has a vital role to play in boosting local economies, helping residents and businesses get faster and more reliable network coverage. This mast will be critical to making that happen.

“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they do need to be situated near to where people will be using the service and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage”

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