Plans to erect a 5G mast in Henbury have been criticised by residents who claim Bristol City Council did not consult with people living in the neighbourhood.
The 50ft mast will be installed on the corner of Arnall Drive and Henbury Road. Anyone who objects has until midnight (October 6) to raise it via the council’s planning portal.
The application was made on behalf of tech service company, K Hutchinson Networks who will operate to tower.
Geoff Lenoard lives next to where the 5G mast will be based and told Bristol World he had only found out about the plans, and how to object to them, less than a day before the portal closed.
“Like everybody I know in the vicinity, the first I heard of this proposal was last night, after a neighbour had a leaflet pushed through their letterbox, providing advice on how to comment on the appropriate council website page.
“With the site being so close to housing and a popular open space, to me, this lack of notice looks like a deliberate tactic to avoid any possible pushback from the local community.
“In any case, Henbury can hardly be considered a rural area where mobile phone reception is poor. It’s far too early to establish that 5G is completely safe, either to humans or to wildlife – both of which are in close proximity to the proposed site.”
Public Health England concludes that, although it is possible for a 5G mast to increase exposure to radio waves, there is no consequence to public health as a result.
A statement on its website states: “It is possible that there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing network or in a new area.
“However, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health.”
After a Facebook post by Geoff, more than 60 objections to the proposal was made.
Henbury and Brentry councillor Mark Weston opposed the plans, citing three reasons.
“I was made aware of the plans in August, I had asked for more details but got no reply. I assumed there would be a consultation process for nearby residents but it appears this did not happen.
“I have objected to the plans on three grounds; a failure to consult residents, the visual impact the mast will have, and the fact that it will be put up inside a conservation zone.”
In total, 66 objections were made with just a single statement supporting the plans, from a resident claiming to live six metres from where the mast would be placed.
They said: “I am the one most affected by the proposal. I have no objection to the construction of this mast.”
A Bristol City Council spokesperson described the application as “one we have very little control over as the national planning framework gives us very little input.”
More information on the plans can be found here: https://pa.bristol.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=RHH2VRDNKS000