HEALTH fears over a 20 metre phone mast which will allow access to 5G networks in Dudley are not grounds to refuse planning permission, councillors have been told. 

The application to replace a 14 metre existing tower on Gospel End Road, has led to string of complaints and petitions with over 400 signatures. 

Residents say the proposal would pose health risks, be out of scale to the character of the area and amount to an unbearable eyesore.

But planning officers have warned councillors they cannot consider health matters if the applicants have said the equipment conforms to the international guidelines.

Other objections to the plans claim the tower would be located too close to a primary school and local homes.

In the past campaigners against phone masts have claimed radio frequencies can cause cause cancer but scientists say there is little evidence of this. 

But in recommending the plan’s approval, council officers have told Dudley’s development committee fears over health risks are not grounds for refusal.

Saying the mast’s operators have provided evidence it would comply with safety requirements, planning bosses warn councillors: “They should not seek to prevent competition between different operators, question the need for an electronic communications system, or set health safeguards different from the International Commission guidelines for public exposure.” 

In response to claims it would be an eyesore, officers have said: “The mast has been specifically designed for the site in question, taking into account the existing street scene at Gospel End Road.

“Whilst the proposed replacement mast is taller than that which already exists, it needs to be in order to introduce the required technologies to the area. 

 “Although it will rise above the height of the existing installation, it is considered that the overall benefits of the scheme will offset any potential visual impact that may arise.”

The development control committee will discuss the application at its meeting on December 4.