5g mast proposals spark bat concerns

A pipistrelle bat

Concerns that radiation could hurt bats are among the reasons given by objectors to a new 5G mast in Patcham.

Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL), has applied on behalf of Three for prior approval to Brighton and Hove City Council for a new 20-metre monopole and three new equipment cabinets on land opposite 3 Brangwyn Way.

The company has permitted development rights to install the new 5G equipment, but neighbours can comment about the siting and appearance of the new equipment.

So far, there are 55 letters of objection and two letters supporting the application.

One objector, whose details were removed on the council’s website, wrote: “From an environmental perspective I object on the grounds that I often see Pipistrelle bats that fly in this area from local woods and there is a risk they may be affected by the radiation emitted from this 5G mast.

“I am a local resident to the proposed installation, and I see the bats while in my back garden.”

Another person wrote: “This mast will devalue properties in the area, not be in keeping, restrict visibility for drivers and cyclists.

“It will give an industrial look completely unfeeling with the area it will overshadow the historic entrance to the Brangwyn Estate.

“The process of planning is to consider the local residents’ opinion if over 100 object again and aren’t listened to, what is the point of the system? What is the point of democracy?”

A supportive commenter said: “Improving our local infrastructure to keep it in line with the latest technology is vital to supporting the local community and businesses within the Patcham, Hollingbury and Westdene areas.

“It will enable better working setups both for those working from home and traditional businesses in an area where broadband/fibre speeds are poor due to their distance from the local network exchanges.”

Clarke Telecom, MBNL includes details of two successful appeals in its application, after Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council and Winchester City Council refused similar applications.

In both cases, the inspectors decided the “benefits” of the masts outweighed the visual impact.

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