A proposal to erect a 5G mast in a residential part of a Bucks town has been approved despite receiving nearly 50 objections from residents.

Plans for the construction of a 15-metre 5G telecoms mast in Somerville Way, Aylesbury, were approved by Buckinghamshire Council on September 22, 2023, despite 48 residents objecting and a councillor raising concern that the proposed amenity would be 'overbearing and restrictive' in an area of communal green space.

The application for the erection of the “slim line pole”, which would “significantly improve” 5G data transmission in the area, was initially submitted alongside a proposal for associated equipment cabinets on July 14, 2023.

Buckinghamshire Highways and Aylesbury Town Council offered no objection to the application, but 48 representations were made by residents in the town on grounds including the pole’s impact on the character and appearance of the area, its effect on highways safety and its potential to be an eyesore.

Concerns were also raised about its suitability for a residential area, its proximity to a children’s play space and its scale – with the 5G pole reaching 15-metres high and the cabinets constructed on 600mm x 600 mm paving slabs.

Somerville Way, a grassy play area with a fenced park, swings and climbing equipment, was reportedly chosen as a location for the mast because it was considered to have “a sufficient distance from surrounding properties” and was not thought to have any adverse impact on nearby highways.

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However, Councillor Adam Poland-Goodyer, the representative for Aylesbury West, voiced criticism of the plans prior to their approval, commenting: “This quite prominent structure on the only green, communal space in this area would be overbearing and also quite restrictive for the community using this amenity.

“The community has events on this green and larger scale events are planned, and this would restrict access to this community space.

“Locals recently planted extensively in this area as part of the Platinum Cycleway and as part of the council’s tree planting pledge. To rip these trees out would negate all of the hard work done by this community and effectively belittle both their and the council’s work.

“It is not clear if other areas for the mast have been looked at or identified but I suggest this happens as a matter of urgency.”

A planning application submitted to Buckinghamshire Council in December 2022 proposing a similar 15-metre 5G mast on Wendover Road in Aylesbury was rejected in February 2023 after gathering criticism from residents on the grounds of insufficient planning notices, health and safety concerns and ecological impact. It currently remains under appeal.