Posted: Thu 29th Jun 2023

Plans for 5G phone mast in Cwmbran approved at fourth attempt

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 29th, 2023

A 5G mobile phone mast has been given approval at the fourth time of asking following negotiations over a site in Cwmbran. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cignal Infrastructure, which was previously known as CK Hutchinson Networks, has had to agree prior approval for a site for the 15 foot mast with Torfaen Borough Council. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Members of its planning committee were told if the council was unable to make a decision within 56 days of the firm’s application it would be permitted and they were recommended to grant the approval for the mast at Llanfrechfa Way in Llanyrafon, Cwmbran. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Planning officer Mia McAndrew told the Thursday, June 15, planning committee meeting: “There is a bit of history. They have tried for a 5G mast on various spots nearby.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

She said the first application was for an 18ft tall mast but that was within the visibility splay of a junction and wasn’t acceptable. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A second application was too close to the roots of a protected tree and was again rejected by the council, with the decision upheld by a planning inspector following an appeal. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

She said the firm was limited in its options for siting a mast as 5G has “limited range” and national planning guidelines accepted the masts are more likely to be close to residential areas. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Llanyrafon councillor David Williams said he was unhappy at how the firm had gone about selecting the sites, claiming it hadn’t considered feedback from previous applications and possible alternatives, and that he hadn’t had a response to a letter he had sent them. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Labour member said: “Whilst recognising the inexorable march of progress in the 21st century means we do need mobile phone masts I do question the level of engagement and democratic process.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The application was approved with seven councillors voting in favour while Blaenavon independent Janet Jones abstained and Cllr Williams was the only member to vote against the approval. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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