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Anger in Alcester as mobile company Three install ‘intrusive’ 15m-high mast





RESIDENTS in Alcester have been left angry and frustrated at the placement of a 5G telephone mast at a key entrance point to the historic town.

The 15m metal mast and equipment cabinets have been installed on Stratford Road on behalf of Three UK to improve mobile phone and internet connectivity in the area.

The new 5G phone mast on Stratford Road in Alcester. Photo: Mark Williamson
The new 5G phone mast on Stratford Road in Alcester. Photo: Mark Williamson

The initial plans, submitted by Great British Communications, for a 20m mast in that location were refused planning permission by Stratford District Council (SDC) last summer following objections that it would have an adverse impact on the historic character of the area and wider landscape.

However, resubmitted plans were given the green light in February via permitted development rights – the government allows communications network operators to install equipment no taller than 15m without the need to go through planning departments.

The structures have now been built on a small green space planted with flowers, trees and shrubbery just inside Alcester Conservation Area.

Town and district councillor for Alcester Mark Cargill (Cons, Alcester and Rural) said that the scheme was gained permission despite fierce objections for Alcester town, Stratford district and Warwickshire county councils and had made “a mockery of the planning system”.

He believes a much more appropriate location could have been found to minimise the visual impact, but said his offers to work with the company to agree a site were not taken up.

Cllr Cargill told the Herald: “When you are talking about sensitive areas, why are these companies not engaging with the residents through the normal process of the planning system? 5G coverage is something I support, however, I was extremely disappointed that the applicants refused to take up our offer to engage with us in finding a more suitable, less intrusive location.

“It makes a mockery of the planning system and of course our conservation area.”

The town council stated the location was contrary to its Neighbourhood Development Plan, while the county council raised concerns about safety, and stated there was insufficient evidence to assess the impact on road users.

Three UK told the Herald: “5G rollout is vital for residents and businesses of Alcester. We want to offer the community a reliable network experience and our planners determined a new site will be critical to making that happen.

“We carry out extensive searches and evaluate a wide range of options before submitting any planning applications.

“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they do need to be situated near to where people will be using the service and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.”

Three UK said the new site would bring improved coverage to Alcester, while avoiding being in the designated conservation area.



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