5G Mast Approved in Luton
Luton Council approves a new 5G mast the second time after e-petition forces new vote.
13:08 05 October 2020
Luton borough councillors have approved a 5G application for the second time after an e-petition forces a new vote.
The authority's planning application had to re-discuss the 5G proposals because an e-petition opposing it was not made available to them at their previous meeting. Under the application, a 22.4m telecommunications mast will replace a 10cm mast outside Thornhill Road in Maidenhall.
The e-petition showed that there were three objections from the 117 residents consulted. Objections included the proximity of the mast to houses, a lack of communication from the council due the pandemic and anxiety because of perceived health impact.
Health concerns were addressed by the report released by the committee. It reads: “It’s considered an established and suitable location for a replacement telecommunications mast which would contribute to the economic benefits expected from 5G.
“Health is a common concern of residents living close to masts.
“Public Health England recognises that 5G may cause a small increase in radiation, but this will be low relative to guidelines.”
Principal planning officer Mike Dunton said: “The second petition was an e-petition with 134 supporters when it was received by the council.
“The matters raised are largely similar to those in the first petition.
“An extended period of time was given to the first petition to enable its completion.
“It’s considered the second petition doesn’t present any new matters that would lead councillors not to reaffirm their original decision.”
Planning solicitor Steven Sparshott said: “There’s an extra material consideration, the petition, which is why it’s come back.
“Had the permission been granted without this being taken into account then it would have been open to challenge, so it’s only right this came back.
“It’s whether this petition adds anything different to change members’ opinions.”