PEOPLE living close to where a 20-metre high 5G mast may be installed have hit out at the ‘preposterous’ plan.
And those around Godley’s Vincent Park believe they may have paperwork that stops any hopes of installing the forthcoming addition, which includes three utility boxes, while a local councillor will lead a bid to try and get it relocated.
So far, 77 people have told Tameside Council of their objection their objection to Cignal Infrastructure UK’s scheme that would see it placed next to the area known as Vincent Park.
And one neighbour believes it would impact on green space – but checks are being made on discovered documents.
They said: “Vincent Park which is a lovely green space that serves our community. It also adjoins a Woodland trail and there are also tree preservation orders on most of the trees in this habitat.
“The 20-metre phone mast and three large utility boxes would completely obscure the beautiful view of the park and this will impact on the natural beauty and the wildlife in the area.
“I’ve put a petition together for residents to sign and put up some large signs up outside the park to notify the community about this preposterous planning application.”
More than 100 people have signed a petition against the proposal and the organiser claims to have found documents that state covenants were put in the deeds stating no-one could build on the land or up to its boundary.
Cllr Andrea Colbourne will also speak to relatives of Vincent Firth, the man after whom the park is named, about the land, with legal checks taking place over suggestions it was originally gifted to the people of Godley and remains in their ownership.
There are also concerns over the suitability for development after a sink hole appeared in the area previously.
They also took aim at Tameside Council for the way it is handling the application, saying it is trying to ‘underhandedly railroad’ permission and it is showing ‘a complete and total disregard for our community.’
He added: “The community feels let down. It’s a very big area and it will impact on people that use the park. There are other locations where they can put it.
“People who take their children to the park turned up to a meeting and couldn’t believe what’s being talked about.
“And I believe these deeds that have been found are still relevant. Even if the land is in the ownership of the council, it’s clearly stated in the documents Mr Firth wanted to keep the areas as it is.
“You don’t put covenants in for no reason, they’re not there for decorative reasons.
“This comes right up to the boundary, it would change the light getting in and it would be an eyesore. It says in documents about not changing the appearance of the area.
“I spoke with my neighbours and was shocked to learn that only four houses in total have been consulted for this application, despite Sheffield Road having a large concentration of properties which will be affected by the proposed works.
“The council has only put one notice up on a lamppost. It’s not obvious. If you wanted to make it a meaningful consultation, surely you’d put several signs up?
“Sticking a letter through four doors is not meaningful. People come from outside the community to use the park. People are upset by it and feel the council is trying to pull a fast one.
“This is not the first time that Tameside Council have mistreated the residents of Godley.
“We feel that the council are trying to underhandedly railroad this application through by not carrying out a meaningful consultation with residents as outlined above and they are again showing a complete and total disregard for our community.”
In support of the application, Cignal Infrastructure’s planning director Ella Chandler said: “This application has been prepared in accordance with the Code of Practice for Wireless Network Development in England (March 2022).
“It is identified as the most suitable option that balances operational need with local planning policies and national planning policy guidance.
“It will deliver public benefit in terms of the mobile services it will provide. We are committed to maintaining a positive relationship with all local planning authorities and we would be happy to provide any reasonable additional information in relation to this application.”
Tameside Council’s highways department it has already indicated it has no objections, stating: “The development would not have on highways grounds an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or that the residual cumulative impact on the road network would be severe.”
However, local Councillor Colbourne has criticised the scheme, saying: “The mock up is what the mast will look like outside the entrance to the park – imposing and out of place.
“It’s not like people don’t want 5G masts, it’s just they are in the wrong place, of which I agree.”
In response, Tameside Council told The Correspondent: “As the Local Planning Authority (LPA), the 5G mast in this case is being considered and assessed in accordance with the usual process, as per the legislation including notifying 86 residents and putting a site notice in place.
“Public consultation started on June 6 and will close on July 6.
“The LPA then has until July 30 to respond with a decision for approval or refusal based on its siting and appearance.
“All correspondence from consultees will be considered before an outcome is decided.”