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Plans for 5G mast and equipment submitted for site near Bury St Edmunds at Culford

Plans have been submitted for a 22.5-metre 5G mast in a village outside Bury St Edmunds.

The company Cornerstone, which says it is the UK’s leading mobile infrastructure services company, is asking West Suffolk Council for full planning permission for the equipment in land at Culford Triangle, in Culford Road East, Culford.

The proposal is for the installation of a telecommunications base station comprising a 22.5-metre monopole supporting six antenna, two 300mm dishes together with two equipment cabinets and ancillary development.

A street view image of the 5G mast application site at Culford. Picture: Google
A street view image of the 5G mast application site at Culford. Picture: Google

The site would occupy a ground area of 15.4m² on maintained grass verge next to Culford Park, a Grade II-listed park and garden, separated by dense tree cover, the heritage statement said.

The statement concluded that the structure would result in ‘less than substantial harm’ to Culford Park and its setting.

“This could not be considered ‘neutral’ development as the proposal will not be fully screened by the boundary of the park,” it added. “The significance of a 210 acre park with thick mature vegetation boundary should be able to withstand the slight change that will be introduced on its periphery by a minor telecommunications site.”

Supporting documents with the application seek to address health concerns the public may have in regards to 5G.

An information sheet said various international assessments have concluded that below the International Commission on NonIonizing Radiation (ICNIRP) Guidelines there is no evidence of adverse health effects for wireless networks (including 5G).

“In common with all mobile phone base stations, Cornerstone sites with 5G technology will be checked and certified for ICNIRP compliance,” it added.

A supporting statement from the Government said all frequencies that are currently and will in future be used for 5G fall within the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that includes radiation which is classed as ‘non-ionising’, which means that these radio waves do not carry enough energy to directly damage cells.

It said: “5G is the latest mobile technology. It brings greater speed, capacity and functionality to mobile services, opening up new opportunities for consumers, businesses and public services.

“Companies have been rolling out 5G in the UK since 2019. However, some people have raised concerns that the introduction of 5G could affect people’s health and have even linked it to the coronavirus pandemic. These claims are completely unfounded and should not be used as a basis to block or delay 5G rollout.”

The Government also said it wants the UK to be a world leader in 5G, with the majority of the population covered by a 5G signal by 2027.

Cornerstone acquires, manages and owns over 20,000 sites and oversee works on behalf of telecommunications providers.