Concerns over a woman’s health have failed to stop plans for a new 5G mast to be put up in a Nuneaton street.
But councillors have insisted that the equipment cabinets alongside the 18 metre-high pole on the junction of Wiclif Way and Malvern Avenue should be coated in anti-graffiti and fly-posting paint following a suggestion from Cllr Brett Beetham (Con, Kingswood).
A statement was read out at Tuesday's planning committee of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, explaining the health concerns of someone living near to the proposed site.
This explained that the man's wife suffered from multiple chemical sensitivity which meant she suffered from electrical hypersensitivity and was seriously affected by things like masts and CCTV cameras.
Referring to the Human Rights Act 1998, he said: “While it [the mast] may be compliant with ICNRP [International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection] guidelines, the implications for the individual are being ignored. This Act clearly states that individuals should be taken into account - if this mast goes ahead then this Act will have been clearly ignored.”
Another statement, from the agent for applicants CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd, explained there were constraints as to where the mast could go and that the site had been chosen in order to provide a coverage to an area identified as deficient.
Cllr Brian Hammersley (Con, Bede) said: “I don’t know all the ins and outs of what these waves that come out these poles are but I have problems trying to pass off something for the needs of people’s telephones for the needs of one’s health.”
And Cllr Scott Harbison (Con, Wem Brook) added: “There is clearly more than one issue at stake here and people are not happy with it. People power should always come through and I’m sure there could be somewhere else they could put it - they are very clever people.”
But Cllr Keith Kondakor (Green, Weddington) countered: “My day job before being a councillor was as an electronics engineer and there are clearly health issues and risks about radiation from radio transmitters which is why the levels are set so low - one tenth the levels in America.
“I do have sympathy for people who have fears of these things but I do know the levels are so much lower in the UK. I am actually quite happy with this application, the science is good.
Committee chairman Cllr Lubs Cvetkovic (Con, Bulkington) said: “We do have a resident who has issues here but equally we have a community as well that we have to think about. I understand the difficulties that many councillors will be wrestling with but we have to stick to the planning considerations.”
Planning officers recommended that prior approval was not needed and councillors agreed with that recommendation.