Concerns raised over ‘grotesque’ 5G mast plans ruining iconic WGC view

Parkway in Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Seb Alfano/SA Drones

Campaigners believe views of Welwyn Garden City's iconic parkway could be ruined by the 5G mast. - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised over a planned ‘grotesque’ 5G mast in Welwyn Garden City, which campaigners believe will ruin one of the town’s iconic views.

An application has been submitted by CK Hutchison Networks, better known as the mobile provider Three, to install a 15m high telecoms monopole in a conservation area in Birdcroft Road, off Parkway.

Residents and councillors alike have called for the plans to be rejected, believing the post will ruin the iconic view of Coronation Fountain and expansive parkland, designed by town founder Sir Ebenezer Howard.

Gemma Moore, Liberal Democrat councillor for Handside, is leading the fight against the 5G mast, which she described as ‘inappropriate’.

Parkway 5G mast

The mast is planned to be installed in this location in Birdcroft Road. - Credit: Google Maps

“Whilst I am keen to support new infrastructure, the proposal to place a 15 metre 5G mast on the iconic vista of Parkway is inappropriate and hugely damaging to the conservation of our town,” she said.

“The siting of the mast goes against the development principles that our local community works hard to preserve, and I do hope that the council rejects the application on this basis.

“With an additional new mast proposed on Newfields, which again is in the conservation area, I do hope that CK Hutchison Networks review their development strategy and work with the council and residents to find more sympathetic locations.”

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Welwyn Garden City Society has also joined the battle, with a statement reading: “Considering this area offers some of the most iconic views of the garden city, the mast will be visible to all and will be grotesquely out of place.

“Instead of looking northwards along Parkway and seeing the Coronation Fountain, they will see an ugly 15m mast, apparently standing right in the middle of the road in the conservation area.

“If this application is approved, it will deface one of most iconic and scenic views in the conservation area. A slap in the face for the garden city and a totally unnecessary eyesore.

“Since the beginning of 2021, the council has refused five of 19 mast applications, so they have a track record for dealing robustly with these kinds of application.

“We believe that no 15m mast should ever be allowed on Parkway, and the network developer should be instructed by the council to think again.”

Despite the resistance, Three seem determined to push ahead with their plans, telling this newspaper: “We want to offer the community a reliable network experience and this site will be critical to making that happen.

“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they need to be situated where people will be using the service and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.”