New EE mast sparks local anger

The old mast standing in front of the new, much taller mast at Walsall Road

Four Oaks residents are up in arms after the completion of a huge new telecoms mast, saying the site looks like a ‘bomb site.’

The towering EE mast at Walsall Road near The Crown pub on Walsall Road, has recently been completed after the firm’s successful appeal. Much to the annoyance of many neighbours, who are annoyed at the ‘mess’ left after the previous mast was not removed.

Their annoyance has been echoed by Four Oaks ward councillor Maureen Cornish who described it as a ‘frustrating situation.’ She has also launched and enforcement complaint to tidy up the site.

The work was completed during October, and will provide the latest 5G communications across the area, with the 50ft.

Councillor Cornish

 The development proposed is a proposed telecoms upgrade with monopole, c/w wrapround cabinet at base and associated works. 

The new mast was initially refused planning permission by Birmingham City Council, who said the main issue is the effect of the proposed development on the visual amenity of the area, with particular regard to the proposal’s scale and siting, but MBNL (EE Ltd and Hutchinson of 3G UK LTD) launched an appeal under  under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against a refusal to grant planning permission. 

 The appeal was upheld by Andrew McGlone an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Local resident Patrick James, from Four Oaks Common Road, described the scene as an unsightly mess.

He said: We all understand the need for better communication, but the area has been left in a right state, a bit of a bomb site really, not to mention the disruption while the work was carried out.”

 Councillor Cornish, Shadow Cabinet Member for Education Skills and Culture at Birmingham City Council, said she had launched an enforcement complaint over the what has been left at the site.

She added: “The Telecommunication installation at the Crown Pub has and still is a frustrating situation. Residents do not object to providing 5G but the number of boxes  and the disgraceful appearance is unacceptable. I have been working with planning officers over a number of weeks requesting the situation is rectified.

My meeting, held last week, has produced the following: ‘The appeal file for the new mast and plans show that the old mast and some of the existing cabinets should be removed  once the new mast is in place.’

“It may be that, due to Covid the removal of old cabinets have been delayed. I have registered an enforcement complaint and they will be in touch and keep me updated.”

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