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Concerns over 5G mast project in Felpham

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A proposed 5G mast was discussed as an urgent item at the last Arun District Council planning meeting.

Mobile network provider ‘Three’ wants to build a 5G mast near the junction of Middleton Road and Park Drive, in Felpham.

CDA Planning Committee Chairman Terence Chapman (Con, East Preston) cleared the application to be ‘called’ as it received over 60 objections.

This followed a request from Paul English (Con, Felpham East) that it be decided by the committee and not the officers. Most naysayers feared the 15-meter-tall mast would be “overbearing” and “too close to the properties”.

Among them are Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb, who said a number of his constituents had written to him about the flagpole.

A Felpham resident also spoke about her fears for her health at the planning meeting.

“This proposed mast will beam microwaves directly into people’s bedrooms, including mine,” she claimed. “My only choice will be to move or try to protect my house from radiation.”

The woman also said her family home doesn’t have a smart meter, cordless phone or wireless internet connection “because of the radiation they all emit.”

But planning officials explained that requests for new telecommunications equipment must be accompanied by security certificates, adding that one had already been provided in this case.

Government guidance says full planning permission is not necessarily required for new telecoms infrastructure, such as 5G masts, but councils can have a say in where it is placed and what for he looks like.

The committee finally decided to approve the 15 meter high mast on Wednesday 24 August.

Why are people worried about 5G?

Most of those who oppose 5G technology are concerned about the effects of radiation on their health.

5G networks rely on signals carried by radio waves – a type of radiation – and concerns are that 5G uses higher frequency waves to enable faster internet speeds for an increasing number of users.

This type of radiation also comes from TV and radio signals, cell phones and sunlight and 5G has been declared safe by the World Health Organization.

A BT spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the mobile phone technology poses “no established health risks”.

“It is important that the facts are explained and that the public is informed and not misled,” they said.

“No health risk has been established from [the] the use of mobile phone technology and exposure to the low level radio signals used for it – even though mobile networks have been around since the 1980s and the radio technology used is basically the same.

“This has been the repeated result of a number of studies conducted over several years.”

The spokesman added that technologies like 5G are “deployed under strict government guidelines” and are “essential” to the UK economy and to supporting emergency services.