A SERIES of applications for the installation of 5G masts across residential areas in Poole have been refused in bulk by BCP Council.

On July 27 and 28, council planning services flat out rejected six different proposals for 5G mast installations in Old Town, Waterloo, and two in Canford Heath and Hamworthy – citing their “wholly jarring, incongruous and unduly obtrusive visual impact”.

More than 100 letters of objections were filed across the applications, which ranged in siting from residential green areas to industrial estates.

The largest 5G mast to be refused was a 20m structure proposed for land at Newfoundland Drive in Old Town which, if built, would have been located directly in front of and towering over a residential property.

Bournemouth Echo: Refused plans for 3G mast in Newfoundland DriveRefused plans for 3G mast in Newfoundland Drive

44 letters of representation were received from residents, with most objections focusing on the domination of the street scene. These concerns were echoed by Councillor Andy Hadley, who said: “I recognise the need for this equipment, although the extent of the cabinets and their intrusion into pedestrian and shared walking/cycling space is unwelcome.”

Council planning officers agreed, stating the tower would “adversely impact established long-range views” as well as prejudicing sustainable transport improvements.

This was followed up with the rejection of a 15m 5G mast in Tollerford Road, Canford Heath. Residents in their droves objected to the proposals with 47 representations made including from councillors Sean Gabriel and Sandra Moore who said the proximity to homes was “unsuitable”.

Cllr Gabriel said: “To confirm, I am in support of 5G infrastructure which I believe will benefit residents, business and services, but this is not appropriate. I am sure a more appropriate location can be found away from residents’ homes.”

Bournemouth Echo: Refused plans for 5G mast in Tollerford Road green. Top picture: Google, bottom picture: Hutchison 3G UKRefused plans for 5G mast in Tollerford Road green. Top picture: Google, bottom picture: Hutchison 3G UK

A further Canford Heath application for a 15m mast, this time on land between Hatchpond Road and Stinsford Road, was also refused by the council – with disruption to the nearby Hatch Pond Nature Reserve cited.

Also rejected was application to install a mast on a grassed highway verge in Blandford Road, Hamworthy – a commercial/industrial area opposite Turlin Moor Recreation Ground.

Despite its distance from residential properties and no objections from residents, it was refused for posing “highway dangers” along with a “lack of justification for the mast and its siting”.

66 objections were lobbied for a 16m mast at Lake Drive in Hamworthy which was rejected, as was an 18m tower for Roberts Road in Waterloo.

Bournemouth Echo: What a 5G mast could have looked like in Roberts Road, Waterloo, PooleWhat a 5G mast could have looked like in Roberts Road, Waterloo, Poole

The decisions have been welcomed by the newly formed Poole Local Group. 

Group leader Cllr Mohan Iyengar said: “We know that the masts are needed to improve connectivity for residents, but the proposed siting of them had little thought behind it. At 40-60 feet high, some were being proposed ridiculously close to people’s homes and in play areas.”

“We’re heartened that planning officers have taken on board residents’ concerns and come to the same view. Now let’s continue a proper dialogue with the applicant and help identity the best locations for these devices that are more acceptable to all.”

According to Three UK, the approval rate of 5G masts in the BCP region is three times less than the national average.

In response to the below average approval rates, a BCP Council spokesperson said: “So far the locations proposed have generally not been suitable in planning terms due to their impact on the character of the area.

“The decision to refuse some masts have also been largely backed up at appeal highlighting that the Council's decision making on this matter has been robust.”