Phone masts that 'look like giant syringes' are a blot on the landscape, say residents on two Milton Keynes estates

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They were erected without adequate consultation, they claim

Residents on Westcroft and Kingsmead are fuming about a third phone mast that ‘looks like a giant syringe’ springing up near their homes.

They say they were awakened recently by the sound of heavy machinery as contractors worked into the night to erect the mast on the V1 Snelshall St, between the two estates.

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"The following day we were shocked to see that a third mobile phone mast had been erected without appropriate consultation,” said one resident.

The trio of phone masts that are upsetting residents in part of Milton KeynesThe trio of phone masts that are upsetting residents in part of Milton Keynes
The trio of phone masts that are upsetting residents in part of Milton Keynes

He added: “The latest phone mast, at a height of 20 metres, towers above the tree line and is visible above many homes throughout the area.

“It was erected on an embankment, increasing its height even further.

The residents have accused MK City Council and phone company O2 of not consulting them about the new mast.

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But whether or not a mobile mast is permitted development or needs planning consent and consultation depends entirely upon its height and location.

As of April 2022, new ground-based mobile masts up to 30 metres in non-protected areas and up to 25 metres in protected areas (such as conservation areas and national parks) are classed as permitted development and may not need planning consent from the local authority.

The resident said: “The new mast was erected just metres away from the previous two phone masts and without shrouding or any attempt to make it blend in with the neighbouring woodland.

"We have complained to the council about this latest mast, which is located less than 50 metres from houses and a care home and resembles a giant syringe.

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The residents cited a number of regulations about masts that are published on the council’s website. However, they were told these are out of date since the change in national policies..

Shortly after the mast was erected, O2 placed a notice saying that anyone that wishes to object to it can write to Network Consultation Helpdesk Manager, O2 (UK) Limited, 1 Brunel Way, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 1XL.

Phone companies say the masts are situated where people will be using the service, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.

Extensive searches and surveys to evaluate all the options, they say.

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