A PLANNING inspector has allowed a mobile network provider to install a 5G mast in a residential area in Basingstoke after the company appealed against a council decision to reject the proposal.

CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd has been allowed to erect a 5G mast 15m tall in Buckingham Parade Street Works, in Kempshott, following an appeal decision by a state-appointed inspector.

Inspector E Worley made the decision on Friday, April 12 after visiting the site on March 25 and ultimately rejecting an order by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

The main issue considered by the council while rejecting the proposal was its effect on the character and appearance of the area.

READ MORE: Appeals against decision to deny 5G masts in Basingstoke

The council said that the appeal site forms part of the pavement which runs alongside an area of open green space with several trees and residential properties, a public house, a parade of shops and car park.

The council also said there was an alternative site in Heron Way which would be more appropriate.

However, the planning inspector said he found no harm in erecting the mast in Buckingham Parade Street Works and hence there was no need for him to consider the availability of alternative potentially less harmful sites.

He added that there is no requirement in the planning framework for a developer to select the best feasible site. 

The inspector said in his decision: “I conclude that the siting and appearance of the proposed street pole and ancillary equipment would not harm the character and appearance of the area.

“Concerns have been raised about potential effects on health, particularly given the location of the site in proximity to residential accommodation for the elderly, community facilities and nearby schools. However, the appellant has provided a certificate to confirm that the proposal has been designed to comply with the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

“In these circumstances, the framework advises that health safeguards are not something which a decision-maker should determine. No sufficiently authoritative evidence has been provided to indicate that the ICNIRP guidelines would not be complied with or that a departure from national policy would be justified.”

To see the original application on the council’s planning portal, search with reference number 22/03291/TENO.