RESIDENTS have shown their opposition online to plans to built a 20 foot-tall phone mast in the Woodley town centre, describing the mast as an 'inappropriate' and 'awful' eyesore.

A decision is yet to be made on the current proposal for the mast and 'ancillary development', however the plans have already been submitted, registered and the public consultation period has ended.

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Residents have shown concerns over the positioning of the mast, which is currently planned to be constructed on Crockhamwell Road, by the Chequers pub in Woodley town centre.

Cllr Shirley Boyt, ward councillor for Bulmershe and Whitegates, said in a comment: "It is not just a mast. There are also seven large cabinets and other infrastructure.

"As Ward Councillor for the area, I have objected to this on the grounds that the precinct is not an appropriate location.

"I am absolutely certain that WBC (Wokingham Borough Council) would not allow this to happen in Wokingham town centre."

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Cllr Keith Baker, Deputy Mayor for the WBC, said: "At a recent planning committee Woodley Town Council emphatically objected to this as a totally inappropriate site.

"There are industrial estates extremely close to this site which would be more appropriate.

"The reason why the existing Headley Road East site was no longer available (their words) was not provided. There was no technical reason provided about the original site.

"The last couple of times an application to change a phone mast to cater for 5G was on the St John’s Ambulance site and the single lane bridge on Duffield Road.

"In both these cases they used the same site for the new capability.

"So I would really like to know why the current site is no longer available. If it is for technical reasons I think they would have said so!"

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Cllr Wayne Smith, executive member for planning and enforcement, said: “This type of development benefits from ‘permitted development’ rights, which means that it is allowed in principle but is subject to ‘prior approval’ from the Local Planning Authority (LPA).

"Because of this, the only thing we can consider is the siting and appearance of the proposal, and not whether it is acceptable in principle.

"A public consultation period on this application ran until December 27 last year and we always consider all comments submitted to us as part of the planning process, but in this case we are only able to look at the siting and appearance.

"We now have to make a decision before 28th January 2021.”

To read the full application, click here.