Uproar forces council to look for alternative site for one controversial 5G mast

    A massive uproar against a 72-ft (22m) high 5G phone mast has forced the council into a rethink.

    The mast, which would have been placed in a prominent position in Woodley Headland near MK Marina and Marlborough Street, had been due to be considered by a committee of elected councillors.

    But this week Milton Keynes Council has confirmed that it has withdrawn the plan and will look for a different site.

    The mast is part of a network of seven across the city that are designed to be an £8.7 million testbed for the new technology.

    A council spokesman said: “The withdrawal is so we can look for an alternative site in response to feedback.”

    The council confirmed that any new application will be subject to usual planning procedures.

    Residents and others will be able to have their say again.

    This particular mast is intended to help MK Hospital to “benefit from connectivity to support vital medical services including remote diagnosis.”

    Phone operators in the city unconnected to the testbed project are already upgrading their equipment to provide 5G.

    And other masts for the network have received planning permission, with a slew of them agreed on June 19, despite objections.

    Council planners deciding those applications have rejected concerns that residents have raised about 5G technology.

    In their reports on other masts they say there is “no generally accepted scientific evidence that a 5G network poses a threat to public health providing it complies with the emission levels set out by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).”

    And they add that they “must determine applications on planning grounds only”, which rules out setting health standard different to the guidelines.

    The planners also say that national Government policy is to support the “expansion of electronic communications networks, including next generation mobile technology.”

    The council has also also been blasted by residents for being both the applicant and the decision-maker.

    But they say that planning regulations do allow for this to happen, giving it the power to decide.

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