Mum threatens sit-in protest over 5G mast for village

A MOTHER-of-three from Wickwar is threatening to stage a sit in protest on the site of a proposed 5G phone mast in the village.

Lucy Pond says the 18m (59ft) mast, proposed by CK Hutchinson (UK) Ltd, on land beside the High Street, will be just yards from her garden.

She has written objections on South Gloucestershire Council’s online planning portal, and emailed council planners to say she is worried about the health impact of masts on her children, who are aged three, five and seven.

Lucy said: “This is abhorrent. I am still flabbergasted someone thought this should happen in the centre of a beautiful village.

“I am more than happy to sit on that piece of grass in a tent until the application is pulled.”

At the time of going to press, 103 comments had been posted on the planning portal – 101 of them objecting.

Wickwar Parish Council has also objected to the mast, which would be capable of hosting up to six antennas.

Many people commented that the mast would be an imposition in a conservation area.

Resident Helen Hall said in her submission: “This mast is completely out of keeping with the historical high street.

“It will be an eyesore as you enter the village and will overshadow people’s homes. Surely there are more appropriate sites, preferably not by the roadside here?”

Others suggested alternative sites.

Dan Trickey said : “Existing mast sites by Wickwar Quarry, Hall End or even Hutchinson’s existing site on Station Road would be far more suitable for this mast.”

Hutchison’s proposal document says the mast would be near to other “large linear structures within the surrounding area of the site, including lighting columns, telegraph poles, a flagpole and mature trees”. 

The company, which runs the 3 mobile network, said: “Such structures will ensure, along with the existing cabinets on the grass verge, that the proposed installation will assimilate with the existing street scene without causing significant impact to visual amenity and local character.

“The design of the column resembles as closely as possible to other vertical structures within the immediate area such as lighting columns, telegraph poles and a flagpole.”

The company has submitted documents from the Institution of Engineering and Technology and industry group Mobile UK which says 5G meets the same safety standards as existing 3G and 4G signals.

One supporter, Philippa Crocker, said: “Fantastic. Anything to improve reception in Wickwar.”

Details of the application can be found on South Gloucestershire Council’s planning portal by searching for application P23/00410/PN1.