We're furious after a massive 60ft tall POLE was built outside our house – it's all the council's faultApril 29, 2022
TWO whopping 5G masts have been installed outside homes after bungling council chiefs missed a deadline to object.
Locals in Bournemouth, Dorset have told of their fury after the 60ft posts went up directly in front of their houses overnight.
Reports then emerged that bosses at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council had missed a 56-day deadline to block the developments, despite initially saying they'd refuse permission.
The "eyesore" posts have now been built in Broadway Lane and Castle Lane West. Both streets are heavily populated.
Jessica Abrook, who lives with her family in Broadway Lane, said she was left "shocked" by the masts.
"It's extremely frustrating that the council are incapable of doing their job," the 32-year-old accounts assistant said.
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"When we put in our planning permission for our home, we had a very slow response from the council, but we had to wait.
"We couldn't just put up the mast like they have.
"There wasn't adequate consultation. The whole thing is disgusting."
Neighbour Iryna Ruggeri, 45, said she feared the value of her home would be affected.
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The textile designer said: "This is a residential area and it's not nice to have to look at that outside my front door.
"I do worry about how it will affect house prices."
A third neighbour blasted the poles as a "big, ugly eyesore".
Now there are fears a third unwanted mast will be installed in Merley, Poole next after officials again reportedly failed to meet the deadline.
Lib Dem councillor Richard Andrews blamed the mistake on council officers working from home.
"An administrative mistake is unfortunate but I know the planning department is having issues with registering and processing applications," he said.
"You are probably going to run things better if you can get people together in a room, rather than by a Zoom meeting."
Phone mast applications are submitted through the prior approval procedure, which does not require the same level of consultation as a typical planning application.
The council's planning department has 56 days to deliver a refusal decision for the proposal to be blocked.
Phone company Three say the council has therefore "deemed consent" and has no legal power to stop them putting the 5G mast up.
Instead, the only option remaining to the authority is to ask Three to "paint them green" so they better match the surroundings.
On the latest application for a mast in Merley, Poole, a spokesperson for Three said: "We carried out extensive searches and surveys to evaluate options before applying for planning permission on Sopwith Crescent.
It's extremely frustrating that the council are incapable of doing their job
"We followed the correct processes and made an application on November 25, 2021, and did not receive a response from the council within the 56-day timeframe – as a result, we have approval to build the mast."
BCP Council said they are in talks with Three about the mast in Merley as they disagree over "deemed consent".
But David Kelsey, chairman of the council's planning committee, said he did not believe there was an issue with working from home.
He said: "The majority of planning applications are registered through an online portal.
"There has been a backlog but we are trying to clear it was quickly as we can and things have improved in the last six months to ensure applications are dealt with as quickly as possible."
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On working from home provision, a BCP Council spokesperson said: "BCP Council is developing modern working practices that benefit both service provision and our colleagues."
They would not provide figures on the number of staff working from home.
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