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Harrogate council refuses permission for 5G mast overlooking the Stray

Harrogate Borough Council has refused plans to erect a 20m tall 5G mobile phone mast overlooking the Stray.

Harrogate council refuses permission for 5G mast overlooking the Stray Harrogate Borough Council has refused plans to erect a 20m tall 5G mobile phone mast overlooking the Stray. 5G is the quickest mobile internet connection available and offers up to 20 times faster speeds than 4G. However, the town is currently poorly served by 5G signal, particularly on its southern side. Reading-based telecoms firm Cignal Infrastructure Ltd hoped to erect a mast at Granby Park, which is adjacent to the section of the Stray by Skipton Road. It said there is an acute need for coverage in the area. The company reviewed other nearby locations including County Square, Devonshire Place, Sanders Walk and Westmoreland Street but discounted them due to their pavements being too narrow to accommodate the equipment. It decided the Granby Park location was the best compromise to extend 5G in the area’s “coverage hole”. But Harrogate Borough Council case officer Emma Howson wrote in her refusal that she had concerns about its visual impact on Harrogate’s much-cherished parkland. Ms Howson said the mast would be “highly visible” from the Stray, as well as on Skipton Road and Claro Road. The plans received 20 objections, including one from from Harrogate Civic Society. There were no letters of support Henry Pankhurst from the Civic Society wrote that the plans should be refused due to “a negative visual effect on the conservation area and on the Stray.” Ms Howson agreed and concluded:

“The public benefits of 5G coverage and capacity have been noted however the harm arising from the impact on the conservation area would substantially outweigh this.”
Meanwhile, plans from Cignal to erect a 15m mast outside the Co-op on Otley Road have been approved. The rollout of 5G has led to fears the frequencies emitted from the masts could be dangerous to humans. But during tests in 2020, regulator Ofcom found “no identifiable risks”. By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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