Plans for controversial Chesterfield 5G mast thrown out
Trees triumphed over technology as Chesterfield councillors chose to protect a small area of woodland rather than level it for a 20-metre high 5G mast.
On Monday, Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee rejected an application for a street pole and wrap-around cabin in Spital Lane, Chesterfield, on grounds that it would have meant clearing an area of trees measuring three metres by 15 metres.
A petition against the application was sent to the council, with 380 people objecting to the visual impact and effects on wildlife it might have, as well as the potential health effects of having a 5G mast close to residential buildings.
A report into the application stated: “There is no reliable evidence to date that exposure to the electro-magnetic radiation associated with mobile phones and similar technologies can lead to a significant health risk.”
Speaking at the planning meeting, development management and conservation manager Paul Staniforth said the trees which currently occupy the site are about eight to ten metres high.
“It will be very visible because it will be twice the height of the trees at the end of the street,” he added.
Mr Staniforth said the siting detracted from a Grade II listed barn on Spital Lane, ‘taking the eye away from what is an attractive heritage asset and that will be to the detriment of those who are passing along’.
Resident Richard Potter objected to the proposal at the meeting on the grounds that the trees were a habitat for numerous animals including bats, foxes and badgers, as well as the effect that felling trees has on biodiversity and climate change.
He said: “We must turn the tide now. Chesterfield must lead the country by example and set a standard for the country and the world.”
Councillor Ray Catt commented: “We cannot make decisions without statistics on the difference between chopping five trees down and replacing them, which is what it usually says in planning, because we all know that to replace five trees we need to plant about 60 to get any benefit.”
Members of the committee voted unanimously against the proposal.