Concerned Whitefield residents and political leaders say it is "disappointing" that an application to build a 5G mast next to a war memorial has come "straight back in only six months".

Councillors and political leaders have teamed up with residents in Pilkington Park after receiving a second application from CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd to build a 5G mast.

Councillor Elizabeth FitzGerald, councillor Russell Bernstein and Christian Wakeford MP met with residents on Sunday, May 21, who say the only difference in the new application is a height reduction from 18m to 15m. 

Cllr FitzGerald expressed that everyone understood the requirements for phone coverage but reiterated the need to work with the community about where it was placed. 

She said: “After the last application, the local councillors and MPs wrote to ask the council to offer their assistance to the company to try and find somewhere else for the mast to go so it is disappointing this has come straight back in only six months. 

“This is a valued part of our town and we don’t want to see it ruined”.

As well as a 15m mast, the application includes cabinets and an increased paved area in the conservation area. 

Residents say they are concerned about the proximity to Whitefield War Memorial as it is a Grade 2 listed building and a place of “contemplation and beauty” that has become increasingly important post-pandemic.

Councillor Russell Bernstein said he wishes for the company to “sit down and meet with us”.

He said: “I do wish CK Hutchinson would sit down and meet with us to help us work with them to identify potential sites that we could all agree on.

“The current proposal is yet again totally unacceptable to all elected representatives and the local community.”

Both the war memorial and the Rectory, across the road, are Grade 2 listed buildings and All Saints Church itself is one of only five Grade 1 listed buildings in Bury. 

All Saints was built as a Waterloo Church between 1821 and 1826 and was the only church designed by Charles Barry, the architect for the rebuilt Palace of Westminster.

Councillor FitzGerald noted these were some of the main reasons for rejecting it last time and the new application included a document from the council’s conservation officer saying it “had not addressed the heritage reasons for the refusal of 69041 (the last application)”.

Mr Wakeford said: “I stand with Councillors FitzGerald, Bernstein and Rubinstein against the mast. 

“The plans for the mast are incredibly insensitive placing it next to both a war memorial and place of worship, both of which have heritage status.

“It is important for people across Pilkington Park to have good connectivity but not at this cost and with a lack of engagement with residents and the community. 

“Following this, I urge residents to make sure their voice is heard and include their objections to this proposal.”

Residents have until today, Wednesday May 24, to register their objections at the council planning website under application 69598.

For more information on how to object see here:

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