EE has second stab at placing 5G mast in one of Milton Keynes' most scenic spots

The first planning application was refused three months ago

Monday, 20th September 2021, 12:06 pm
Updated Monday, 20th September 2021, 12:08 pm

A second attempt has been made to place a 5G mast in the historic village o Woughton on the Green.

Hutchinson Telecommunications, acting on behalf of EE, were refused planning permission in June to site a 59ft tall 5G mast in Newport Road, beside parkland and metres away from the Protected Ancient Monument site of a medieval sunken village.

MK Council refused planning consent for this due to the "adverse visual impact" on the preserved historic village street scene and the close proximity to the Woughton on the Green Conservation Area, the Ancient Monument site and a Grade 2 listed cottage.

Residents produced an artists' impression of what the original mast would look like in their village. The newly proposed mast is three metres shorter.

The application had caused fury among residents, who lodged a stream of objections. You can read our story here.

Now Hutchinson has submitted a second application for exactly the same spot. The company has reduced the height of the proposed mast by three metres, making in 50 feet high.

Residents fear the height reduction could force the application through as 'Permitted Development'.

"It which will still be visible above the trees and hedge, particularly in the winter when these will have lost their leaves. The mast is to be sited at the roadside opposite Baskerfield Road on open grass verge and will have no screening whatever from the road and houses opposite," said one neighbour.

”We are appalled by this new attempt to try to force this eyesore onto us at a very attractive and sensitive visual location.. We want to gain as many public objections from locals and residents as possible before the deadline for objections passes on 30 September and it becomes too late to stop it," he added.

"We all accept that 5G will be a necessity in the future and that these masts will be needed, but careful thought needs to be employed in choosing suitable and sympathetic locations for them where they will not be visually intrusive and will not be so close to housing as this current proposal."

The parish council has put forward several alternative more suitable locations for this mast but residents say these have been ignored.

Several 5G masts have already been agreed for Milton Keynes as the city prepares to become testbed for new technology. Two of these are at CMK while other sites include MK Hospital, Chaffron Way, MK Stadium and Magna Park.

Broadband companies say access to 5G has a vital role to play in boosting the local economy and providing faster and better better network coverage for businesses and residents.

They say they try to keep sites as as unobtrusive as possible, but they do need to be situated close to where people will be using the service.