Whitefield Residents, councillors and MP have joined forces to oppose plans to build a 5G mast next to Whitefield war memorial.

Cllr Elizabeth FitzGerald met with local residents over the weekend, at the first of two public meetings to oppose an application to build an 18m 5G Mast next to Whitefield war memorial.

The application was submitted by CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd on behalf of mobile phone network, Three, and would include an 18 metre mast, cabinets and an increased paved area in the conservation area.

Read more: Greenmount residents express concern about 5G mast plans.

The main concerns about the plans were the proximity to the war memorial, which is Grade II listed.

It is also described as a place of contemplation and beauty that has become 'increasingly important post pandemic'.

It is a focal point on Remembrance Sunday.

Other concerns from residents include potential damage to the trees and impact on the general visual amenity.

Residents have also argued about the hazard it provides on the junction with fears the cabinets and mast could impact sight lines for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, as well as taking away any future opportunity to widen the junction or add cycle lanes.

Cllr FitzGerald also called on the 5G companies to work together with local communities.

She said: “People understand there needs to be infrastructure, but companies should work with each other and us to agree planned networks rather than just putting applications through one-by-one wherever they see a spare bit of land with no concern to how that impacts the residents.”

There is also a concern about setting a precedent for such poles in the conservation area.

All three councillors and Christian Wakeford MP were against the proposals.

Cllr Russell Bernstein agreed to a joint approach saying: “I think this current issue demonstrates that Labour and Conservative councillors can happily work together for the common goal of advocating for all our residents.”

Cllr Nick Jones also objected to the proposal saying: “I have great concerns that a planning application has been put forward in the conservation area of Whitefield.

“Councillors are united with residents against the 5G mast proposals, and I encourage all residents to register their views about the proposals before the deadline.”

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford added: “The rules need to be made tighter to prevent companies from placing masts in an unplanned way and wherever they see fit.

“I welcome the recent decision to refuse permission for the proposed mast on Bury New Road and hope that this will also be refused.

“This is becoming an increasingly big issue and I will be raising it directly with the Minister.”

A Three spokesperson said: “Access to 5G has a vital role to play in boosting local economies, helping residents and businesses get faster and more reliable network coverage.

"This is why we’re working with the local council in Bury to roll out the UK’s fastest 5G network so that we can keep everyone connected both now and in the future."

They added: "We have carefully considered vehicle, cycle and pedestrian safety in our application.

"The relevant local highway authority is a statutory consultee on all planning applications of this nature.

"They will assess the location for all aspects of vehicle, cycle and pedestrian sight-lines and safety, and advise the planning department accordingly."

Residents have until December 1st to object to application 69041 on Bury Council’s website.

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