Community leaders have criticised fresh plans for a 15m high mobile phone mast in a protected area of Whitefield.

An application, which were originally submitted to the council in November last year, would have seen a 17m high mast installed at the junction of Higher Lane and Church Lane, close to All Saint’s Church.

But following objections from residents and councillors, the plans were blocked by the borough’s planning committee, which labelled the mast "intrusive".

Now, a fresh application has been submitted by CK Hutchison Networks Ltd, which owns service provider Three, proposing a new 5G mast which would be 2m shorter.

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The new application would see the mast be placed in the same area in close proximity to a war memorial, a move which residents previously branded, “disrespectful".

The mast would also be close to Whitefield’s conservation area near to All Saint’s Church, a Grade I listed building as well as the Grade II listed cenotaph.

Cllr Elizabeth FitzGerald, who represents the Pilkington Park ward for Labour, penned a joint statement with Labour candidate Michael Rubinstein and Bury South MP Christian Wakeford, criticising the plans.

They said: “As political leaders and community activists in Pilkington Park, we are disappointed that this application has been put in place again.

“We were delighted to have joined fantastic community volunteers in opposition to the 17m mast in November, so it is deeply disappointing to see this return as a proposal for a 15m mast.”

They said they would discuss the application with council officers and formulate a formal objection to the plan.

The statement added: “We think the proposed mast will be an eyesore in one of the most beautiful parts of our town.

“We will continue to be part of the fight against this, working with Whitefield residents, other political leaders and community leaders.”

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Records show the application was submitted on Thursday, April 27 and it is understood consultations ae taking place.

In a statement included with the application, CK Hutchison Networks Ltd said: “CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Limited) is committed to providing improved network coverage and capacity, most notably in relation to 5G services.

"In these unprecedented times of the pandemic, it is recognised that high-speed mobile connectivity is the lifeblood of a community.

“The pre-consultation invited comments within a two-week period and while the merits of highspeed telecommunications are generally recognised; pre-application has identified the need to carefully consider the risk of increased visual amenity to adjoining residential properties through the siting of telecommunications infrastructure within urban settings.

“It is our opinion that the proposed design presents a better ‘fit’ within the local community and immediate street scape, offering a reduced visual impact upon an area of adopted highway identified."