Telecoms company Three scraps plans for 18-metre 5G mast in Portchester street's green space after 'flood' of angry emails from residents

TELECOM company Three has scrapped plans to build a 18-metre tall mast in the centre of a Portchester community green after a ‘flood’ of complaints.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 4:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th July 2021, 5:09 pm
Portchester residents at Gladstone Gardens, Portchester, protesting a proposed 5G mast. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The company had originally planned to build an 18-metre mast, providing 5G internet coverage, in the green space in the middle of Gladstone Gardens.

A revised suggestion of 15-metres was then floated, according to Fareham Borough Councillor Roger Price, who wrote to the company to deride the attempt to ‘run rough-shod over residents and destroy their area’.

Residents responded to the plans with fury, worried that the huge utility would be an eye-sore, knock house values, and set a precedent for further developments on the green.

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Cllr Roger Price said residents had sent a 'flood' of angry emails to Three. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Resident Reg Kennedy said: ‘We don’t want this, nobody here wants this. My wife and I have spent many years planting daffodil bulbs to make the green look nice, and they are going to come along here and dig it all up – it’s not in our interest at all.’

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Now the company is looking to find ‘a nearby alternative location that it hopes will be acceptable’, with no timescales agreed for works to commence.

A spokeswoman from the company said: ‘5G rollout is vital for residents and businesses of Portchester We want to offer the community a reliable network experience and our submission for new masts, as well as the upgrades to other sites, will be critical to making this happen.

‘We carry out extensive searches and surveys to evaluate all the options. We then choose the option most likely to gain planning approval from the local council. This will include showing we have minimised the impact on residents and the locality. We are currently working to find an acceptable solution.’

A better solution may mast sharing with other companies or a site alongside existing masts on top of businesses in Portchester’s shopping precinct, according to Cllr Price.

Celebrating the announcement that Gladstone Gardens will remain mast free for the foreseeable future, the councillor said: ‘It’s very good news. I would imagine the flood of emails that they had made an impact.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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