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Six-storey high 5G phone masts proposed for city

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Three new 5G phone masts have been proposed for Cambridge – one of which is 18 metres high and would stand in front of residential flats.

The other two applications are for 20-metre high masts, one on a roundabout and the other in front of a garage.

A stock image of a monopole phone mast
A stock image of a monopole phone mast

Sam Davies, an independent candidate for Queen Edith’s ward on the city council at the May 6 elections, said about the application for the mast on Wulfstan Way: “People are only just finding out about this – there’s no site notice for it and while some of the neighbours have been notified, it’s not to the extent you would think such a visual intrusion merited.

“It is massive – 18 metres high, which is the equivalent of six storeys. The café and pub and shops on Wulfstan Way are trying to make the place feel more loved, a group of volunteer gardeners has just done a makeover of one of the beds, there has been lots of grassroots activity to invest in the place, and now there is this application to have an incredibly intrusive tower overlooking it.

“That area is our village green, it is our community space and people are working hard to make it nicer, and now this could materialise in the middle. It is taller than any of the trees – nine foot taller than the tallest tree. I would like to understand why they have chosen this location and why it has to be this tall.”

WHP Telecoms has applied to the Greater Cambridge Planning Service on behalf of Three and EE to determine which type of planning approval will be required to have the masts installed.

Planning documents show the “monopole” equipment would be tall and thin, and between 18 and 20 metres depending on the location.

The 18-metre mast would be located in Wulfstan Way, in the Queen Edith’s ward near to a shopping arcade, on a grass verge between a pavement adjacent to a green space with trees and the road.

A 20-metre mast is proposed for Newmarket Road, close to the airport, in front of the Marshall Motor Holdings building.

Another 20-metre mast is proposed for the Elizabeth Way roundabout where it meets Newmarket Road, on a section of pavement in front of the National Tyres and Autocare garage.

Planning documents say there is a requirement for Three to provide improved coverage and capacity, “most notably in relation to 5G services”.

WHP Telecoms say in their application: “There is no scope to pull the mast outside of this area and give the cell 5G coverage”.

A Three spokesperson said: “5G will enable businesses and residents in Cambridge to get faster and more reliable network coverage both now and in the future. We know that over time, as more services go online and digital consumption habits continue to change, our network will need more capacity to meet demand. It’s critical that we start the groundwork now so that we can keep everyone connected and we’re working with local councils to make this happen.”

The full list of candidates running to represent Queen Edith’s ward on Cambridge City Council is:

  • Christine Butler, Conservative
  • Sam Davies, independent
  • Al Dixon, independent
  • John Eccles, Liberal Democrats
  • Connor Hanagan Morrissey, Labour
  • Daniel Lee, Liberal Democrats
  • Jenny Page-Croft, Liberal Democrats
  • Peter Price, Green
  • Shoaib Shahid, Conservative
  • Indy Vadhia, Labour
  • Jacqueline Whitmore, Green
  • Simon Whitmore, Green
  • Dan Zahedi, Labour

Additional reporting: Ben Hatton, Local Democracy Reporter

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