Plans have been submitted to the council by Three UK Ltd to put in telecoms equipment, including a 16-metre high monopole and equipment cabinets, on a grass verge on Mousehole Lane, near High View Way.
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At the time of writing there are 32 public comments on the council’s planning portal objecting, with two comments in support.
Close to the proposed site there is a very visible poster campaign on nearby lampposts opposing the plans and alerting passers-by to the application, and in particular stressing the height of the proposed mast.
A number of objectors suggest in the public comments on the council’s website that official notifications have not been widely circulated, and that they’ve only found out about the proposed mast because of local campaigning.
One objector said they’d lived in the area for 25 years with a nice view to wooded areas and green verges, but that “this unnecessary monstrosity will definitely depreciate the value of property in this area and ruin the quality of lifein (sic) the suburb”.
Others raised concerns about road safety at a “challenging” junction, potentially with cabinets “restricting sight pulling out into Mousehole Lane due to the large boxes that go with it”, and with many children crossing in the area going to various schools, apparently now with no crossing patrols.
The need for the mast at all given alternative connectivity is also questioned by several objectors, with one person commenting, “surely there has to be a balance struck between this 'so called need,' and the mental welfare of local residents, for many of us would look out of their homes directly at the huge unsightly structure”.
Another said 5G is already available within the area, so questioned why a mast needed to be installed at all.
But one supporter of the plans disagreed, saying the “mobile signal is often lacking in the area” and that the “location could not be better” because it won’t obstruct pedestrian views of the highway. It is “in keeping” with the area, they added, as other telecoms cabinets are already located nearby.
Another commented that they’d always had a poor signal due to the topography of the area, which causes problems to services such as SMS delivery notifications and smart meters.
Concerns about the possible effects of 5G technology generally are also cited in the public comments by a number objectors, often in considerable depth, although government information included in a document accompanying the application says that concerns about 5G and health “should not be used as a basis to block or delay 5G rollout”.
In another supplementary planning document the applicant said, “there is a specific requirement for an installation at this location to provide the latest 5G services, ensuring that this area of Bitterne maintains access to the latest technologies as per the Operator’s license and customer obligations.
“This is a highly constrained search area with extremely limited options for sitting an installation due to the dense urban setting where the coverage is required.”
Further comments on the application can be made until March 6.