MORE than 20 locals have officially objected to plans for a 16 metre 5G mobile phone mast on the corner of Scarcroft Road and Bishopthorpe Road.

The plans were lodged by CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd on December 9 – though locals say a public notice was only published on December 21.

That notice, by City of York Council’s planning team, says objections must be lodged by Tuesday (January 11).

A supplementary information form submitted with the planning documents by Leeds-based WHP Telecoms Ltd says the area is a ‘highly constrained cell search area’ and that there is a ‘requirement to upgrade the… network to improve coverage’. It notes that there are no schools nearby.

But more than 20 locals have already objected, warning that the mast would ruin the area. Some also claim it could be a health hazard.

In a letter of objection Susan Major, who lives nearby, said: “This small area of our neighbourhood plays a crucial role as a tiny green space in a heavily trafficked area, a small space very much valued by local people.

“Elements include careful landscaping by local volunteers, a sculpture devised to reflect the local community, benches and floral planting funded by local businesses.

“A mast sited at the front of this small site will be unduly prominent, and the required three cabinets on the nearby pavement will clutter the area, reducing a busy space for pedestrians. We feel this proposal is entirely inappropriate.”

Karen Gordon, of Russell Street, said: “To put this mast in this area I feel would have a negative impact on a quiet oasis used by lots of people for meeting up, quiet moments looking out on a beautiful cherry tree.”

James Grainger, who lives on Bishopthorpe Road, added: “This would ruin the green space that has been created at some cost. The area is used a great deal by people, who often, have limited green space of their own. Clearly, a mast such as this would significantly impact on that and reduce the areas use.”

There was also, he claimed, ‘significant public concern’ about the short and long term health effects of this type of mast. “I would feel very anxious about having this mast so close to where I live.”

A post by Margareta Szabo on the Bishy Road Facebook group adds: “A similar application to this was turned down 10 years ago, but they are now back. If you object, please make your voice heard to the City of York Council by the 11th January.”

To register a comment on the application, go to the city council website and search for planning application reference no 21/02682/TCMAS