Anger at plans for ‘monstrous’ 5G phone mast in Worthing

Traders and councillors are fighting plans to install a ‘monstrous’ 5G phone mast at Cricketers Parade in Broadwater.

Hutchison 3G UK Limited is seeking planning permission to install the 20-metre tall mast on the grass area in front of the shopping parade.

But the proposal, which is yet to be considered by Worthing Borough Council, has been met with anger.

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Alan Walker, landlord of The Cricketers pub, said: “I believe that the mast will be an eyesore on our little bit of green and I for one wouldn’t want to be sitting under it on the bench when waiting for a bus.”

Councillors Val and Bryan Turner and Broadwater campaigner Paisley Thomson at the proposed location for the mast in Cricketers Parade, Broadwater

Louis Chandler, owner of Muldoons, said the proposal was a ‘terrible idea’, adding: “Broadwater is a lovely little village which needs looking after. If this pandemic has taught us anything it is that green spaces however small should be nurtured for us all to enjoy, not ruined by huge ugly pieces of metal.”

Broadwater campaigner Paisley Thomson also said: “I understand that these masts have to go somewhere, but this is just not the right place. It is a monstrosity that will have a terrible effect and must be resisted.”

Councillor Val Turner (Gaisford ward) said she was furious at the application, adding that the mast ‘will have a terrible overpowering effect on the area’.

She said work had just begun on improving the parade and enhancing the grass area – and this phone mast will just undermine this.

A drawing of the proposed scheme on Worthing Borough Council's planning portal

County councillor Bryan Turner said: “By putting in this application the company has shown total disregard for the area.

“This green space is well-used by residents who shop here supporting local traders.

“The proposal is too close to the Broadwater conservation area and shows a lack of understanding for the heritage of the area.”

According to the application, the mast would be made of galvanised steel and there would be four steel cabinets extending in length of more than six metres along the edge of the grassed area.

In response to the concerns, a spokesman for Hutchison 3G UK Limited 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 Worthing to roll out the UK’s fastest 5G network so that we can keep everyone connected both now and in the future.

“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they do need to be situated near to where people will be using the service and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.

“We are always mindful of local residents when deciding where a mast will be placed and have written to the council offering to reduce the height to 18m.”

To view the proposal, search under the planning reference AWDM/0379/21 on the council’s planning portal.