5G mast proposed in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge town councillors have voiced concerns over proposals to build a new 5G phone mast at the entrance to Apex Park, saying it should be located next to the nearby fire station training tower instead.

Councillors spoke out during the latest virtual meeting of the Town Council’s Planning Applications Committee when they reviewed a ‘pre-consultation planning letter’ from Hutchison UK Limited for the proposed 15-metre mast on the grass verge besides Marine Drive at the entrance to the park.

Cllr Louise Parkin told the meeting: “It’s planned at the entrance to Apex Park, our beautiful area of recreation. No, I don’t agree with it at all. There must be somewhere just a little bit off the site to one side where it can go. I don’t agree with it here one iota.”

5G mast proposed in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge

Cllr Bill Hancock strongly opposed the Apex Park site: “I completely agree with Cllr Parkin on this. It would be an eyesore for people coming into the town and I think it would look absolutely horrendous there. Yes, we need tech for the next generation, but the next generation will have to look at this too. It would be a bloody eyesore. I’m sorry. I’m 100% against having it there.”

But Committee Chairman Cllr Andy Brewer responded: “I’ve got mixed views on it. We are in a technologically developing era and a lot of us like the facilities that we get with modern technology. We like stronger mobile phone signals, better internet access and quicker Internet speeds, so we need the improved infrastructure. There’s a price for it: there can be ugly telecoms masts going up. So we need to strike a balance.”

Cllr Brewer shared a map of the proposed location for the mast and then talked through a possible new site for it: “Look to the left by the fire station and there’s a training tower that, to my view, would be a lot more appropriate. It wouldn’t look out of place. It would be a little bit less conspicuous.”

5G mast proposed in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge

Cllr Hancock responded: “I am totally in agreeance,” and Cllr Parkin added: “It’s a very good suggestion.”

Councillors agreed to propose that the mast be sited near the fire station training tower due to the Marine Drive site being “detrimental to the visual amenity of Apex Park and the open area there.”

Cllr Sue Harvey added: “One proviso is that we ask for it not to be too near to the houses – there are bungalows at the back of that area and we wouldn’t want the mast against somebody’s fence.”

Cllr Brewer agreed, saying having it near the training tower would “be removed from the adjacent properties.”

He added: “The proposal refers to non ionizing radiation – it is well within the specified limits.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to propose the new location for the mast, however no final decision will be taken on the site until the applicant submits a separate planning application at a later stage when the public will be able to submit their views.


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