Councillors express anger as they refuse planning for 16m-high 5G mast

North Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee want an alternative site to be found.

Councillors express anger as they refuse planning for 16m-high 5G mast iStock

Councillors expressed anger over the way communities are being treated when it comes to installing 5G phone masts before refusing to allow a 16m mast to be erected in Glenboig.

During an online meeting of North Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee on Thursday, members considered an application from CK Hutchison Networks where planning officers had recommended prior approval be granted for a 16m-tall mast and cabinet in Kilfinan Court.

However, councillor Michael McPake, a local Labour representative, expressed “great concern” at this.

“It seems as though the legislation was changed in April of this year to make sure that these things go through,” he added.

“I didn’t see that in anybody’s manifesto in the May election of this year. Now this community have had this hideous thing put outside their houses.”

Cllr McPake acknowledged the need for masts but called for greater consideration to be given to communities and sought to refuse the application until an alternative site could be found.

Planning manager Graeme Lee advised the committee that the height of the mast had been reduced to 16m and that the applicant had already considered multiple locations for it.

SNP councillor Greg Lennon, who also serves the Gartcosh, Glenboig and Moodiesburn ward, said that consultation with residents was “flawed” and letters had not been sent out in time to allow people the chance to object and elected members were required to intervene to extend the process.

Other councillors were critical of the handling of consultation and the rapid construction of masts in their wards.

Councillor McPake then moved an amendment to refuse the application on the grounds that the site was unsuitable and was seconded by cllr Lennon. This amendment was carried by nine votes to six.

By local democracy reporter Neil McGrory