PERMISSION for a controversial 5G mast was granted automatically after the council missed the deadline to respond by just one day.

BCP Council confirmed the mast will now remain in place on Broadway Lane despite concerns from residents.

Three UK applied to put the mast at Broadway Lane, Bournemouth and the work was undertaken by subcontractor Great British Communications.

It has now been confirmed the council took one day over the allotted number of days it has to respond to the planning application, so Three will benefit from deemed consent and the mast will remain on the road.

A spokesperson from BCP Council said: “Following our investigation into the matter and discussions with the operator, both parties have now agreed that installation works are lawfully permitted and can continue to proceed.

“We apologise for the confusion, which was caused by an administrative error within our legacy planning process. We remain in discussions with Three and will work with them to see if some of the key issues identified within their initial application can now be addressed.

“BCP Council is committed to providing an efficient and quality service to residents and businesses, however we must acknowledge the high demand and increasing work volumes that have been placed on our planning service in recent years.

“A report is being presented to Cabinet at the end of this month to review positive improvements to help transform our planning service and create one that is suitable for a world-class city region of the future.’’

In communication with a resident about the mast, the Council confirmed that the ‘administrative error’ was that they were a day too late to respond to the planning application.

In an email, a Council spokesperson said: “I would advise you that, unfortunately, it turns out that there has been an error in the issuing of the decision on this one – what we thought was the final day for determination (day 56) was in fact a day too late, so we frustratingly acknowledge they benefit from ‘deemed consent’ and are able to put up the mast.

“A Senior Planning Officer has been liaising with the applicants and had agreed a lower mast and for it to be painted green to blend in with the area and minimise the impact.

“In the circumstances, as there is no breach of planning legislation, there is no further action available on this matter.”

In a statement, the council added: "There was a difference in interpretation on the 56 days. After positive discussions with Three we concluded that their interpretation was satisfactory and therefore allowed the construction process to begin."

The Daily Echo has contacted Three UK for comment.