5G BATTLE: Nineteen metre ‘eyesore’ at the centre of Solihull debate
A battle is brewing over plans to install a towering 5G phone mast – branded “an absolute eyesore” by critics – outside a small shopping parade in Solihull.
Proposals to erect the 19 metre monopole at the junction have been handed to the council, sparking concern about the impact on the surrounding area.
Objectors claim that the structure, around twice the height of the adjacent Chinese takeaway, would be “a blot” on the road junction and that around six equipment cabinets would cause parking problems.
They are now calling for the mast plans, on the corner of Knightsbridge Road, Olton, to be abandoned and an alternative site identified.
Tender Years Day Nursery, among the nearby units, has taken to social media to urge people to submit their comments to the council and raise the issue with Solihull MP Julian Knight.
“We will lose the majority of the central reservation area currently used for local residential and staff parking,” said a spokesman.
“If staff have nowhere to park they will be forced to park outside the nursery frontage, meaning parents will be forced to park unsafely on Castle Lane and it would concern me greatly in regards to getting children safely in and out of cars.”
The application has been submitted as part of the roll-out of new 5G technology and is one of several sites around the borough to have been the centre of a struggle in recent months.
Previous battles to prevent masts at Conker Lane, in Dorridge, and outside Widney Manor Station have proven unsuccessful.
A report accompanying the latest scheme, submitted on behalf of MBNL Limited, said that new masts were needed to provide coverage for the upgraded network.
“It is seen as essential for the country to develop and exploit the advantages of such new technology to the direct benefit of the public and the economy as
a whole,” it said.
Although telecoms bosses have admitted in the past that the demands of 5G means that masts will need to be taller than those installed to serve previous generations of kit.
It’s understood some of those concerned by plans as they stand would favour siting the mast closer to the canal, which cuts through the suburb.
Full details of the scheme are available here – https://tinyurl.com/qlrt4dym
Words: David Irwin, Local Democracy Reporter
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