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Bishop's Stortford Town Council raises no objection to 25m mobile phone mast for EE on industrial estate in Pig Lane

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Plans for 233 homes on the site of The Bishop's Stortford High School (TBSHS) in London Road have forced the relocation of a mobile telephone base station.

As a result, a planning application to erect a 25m (82ft) replacement telecommunications tower on the Haslemere industrial estate off Pig Lane has been submitted to East Herts Council, the planning authority for the district.

At a meeting on Monday (May 16), members of the town council's planning and development committee raised no objection to the proposal.

Keith Warnell (56713128)
Keith Warnell (56713128)

Cllr Keith Warnell, a licensed radio ham, told members the shorter wavelength used by 5G meant the coverage area was smaller, hence more masts were required.

"This appears to be the only site where they can put this," he said. "It's a difficult one: an 80ft mast would seem to be a bit of an eyesore, but technology has to move forward."

Cllr Bob Taylor said it was better to have the pylon-style mast on an industrial estate than in a residential area.

Telephone mast relocation plan (56713269)
Telephone mast relocation plan (56713269)

Mobile network operator and internet service provider EE has been given notice to remove its rooftop apparatus from the school site to enable redevelopment. The secondary is set to move to a new campus at the St James' Park estate off Whittington Way next year, releasing its 14.8-acres (6ha) campus for 233 new homes.

EE has asked EHC to approve its application for the Pig Lane site after the authority last year rejected a proposal for a 20m (65ft) mast on a grass verge at London Road.

"The proposed new mast will not only service voice calls but will include provision for 3G/4G and newly-developed 5G data use, which will be of great benefit to all users of the network," said the company.

"EE has been awarded the contract to provide network services to the emergency services which will operate over EE's 3G/4G/5G network and, as such, this site will also provide coverage for all the blue light services in the area."

It considered 13 sites before submitting its latest application but said: "As this installation is required to replace an existing telecommunications installation, the search area is particularly restricted by geographical and distance factors, with close proximity to the previous site of major importance. Should this not happen, then it is likely to lead to a network coverage hole in this area."

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