VILLAGERS in Hunningham have hit out after work began on a ‘hideous’ 20 metre 5G mast outside their homes.
Under new legislation brought in earlier this year, phone companies now have the right to install masts up to 25 metres high without planning permission.
Despite over 20 objections, and votes for a number of proposed alternative locations, applicant CK Hutchison Networks appeared to begin work on the mast, which has been granted ‘prior planning permission’ by Warwick District Council.
And despite votes for a number of alternative location options, contractors have started digging and drilling in a spot close to homes in the centre of the village and next to its only bus stop.
Other options included near a flood zone which villagers argue had undergone mitigation, and two other places the applicant refused due to insufficient space.
But residents argue there are still better locations where the mast is less visible and less of a risk to road users.
Among those objecting to the mast is the parish council which says its size will have a ‘significant detrimental impact’ on the village centre.
A spokesperson said: ” Little effort has been made to minimise the visual impact of the proposal. Conversely, it will exaggerate its dominance by being so much taller than existing street furniture, buildings and be twice the height of the single tree.”
The parish council is also concerned the mast will be a distraction to drivers along the main busy road which does not have a pavement – posing a risk to pedestrians as well as road users.
One objector argued: “The village is in a green belt protected area to preserve the character of this community and the surrounding area.
“The proposed pole would be hideous. It is completely out of proportion with the surrounding buildings and natural landscape. It would tower
over the mature trees and look utterly ridiculous.
“For years residents have abided by the planning constraints to ensure any development work is in keeping with the character of the village but this application goes against this and will look awful, ruining the look and character of the village.
“There are plenty of alternative sites which would be viable alternatives without ruining one of Warwickshire’s beautiful villages.”
Warwick District Council had not yet responded to a request for comment.