Residents left aghast over 30ft phone mast

The grey 4G phone mast on Wingrave Road, Tring, which residents say was erected without consultation. Left, the camouflaged 3G phone mast with street lamp attached.
The grey 4G phone mast on Wingrave Road, Tring, which residents say was erected without consultation. Left, the camouflaged 3G phone mast with street lamp attached.

The building of a new 4G mobile phone mast has caused uproar among neighbours who say they weren’t told it was being erected.

Residents in Wingrave Road, Tring, woke up earlier this month to find the road partially closed and contractors constructing the mast – which is estimated to be around 30ft in height – next to the existing 3G mast.

Kitty Thomas, who lives in one of the Victorian terraced properties opposite, said: “None of us were informed that planning permission had been requested, let alone passed, or when the work was due to be done.

“We just woke up to find half the road had been closed off, causing traffic and parking problems.

“I assumed they were doing maintenance work on the existing mast but no – they were in the process of erecting a second, much larger mast next to it.

“Surely residents have the right to be informed of any planning applications that will affect them and have the opportunity to contest requests? It’s basic human rights.

“The mast dominates the view from my bedroom window and it’s the same for my neighbours. I heard on the grapevine that the letters didn’t go out because of a clerical or computer error, but we are all upset and annoyed with Dacorum Borough Council.

“I’m not against technology, but maybe they could camouflage it like the other mast?”

But a spokesman for Dacorum Borough Council revealed that the authority was not required to make a formal application for this type of work because it had “prior approval application” granted at a national level.

They said: “Although there is no statutory obligation to give notice, we try to give residents notice of this type of application.”

The government’s planning portal website says: “Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application.

New 4G technology makes it much quicker to surf the web on mobile phone, tablets and laptops.