Objections have been made by councillors to a giant mobile phone mast planned for Bognor Regis town centre.
The 10m-high mast is sought for the top of Fitzleet House by telecoms companies EE and Three to replace six antennas.
But fears about its impact on the historic surrounding area of The Steyne and concerns about its safety in such an exposed position led Bognor Regis town councillors to oppose it. The planning and licensing committee members said they wanted Arun District Council to make the final decision based on a range of factors.
The committee had heard from two residents at the meeting of their fears about the health effects of 5G technology.
Cllr Pat Dillon (C, Pevensey) said the mast would be much more visible on top of the 15-storey tower block in Queensway than the existing equipment.
“This is going to be out of keeping and out of character with the area. How safe is it in the strong winds that we get? They are the only things we can really object to,” he said.
Cllr Sandra Daniells (I, Pevensey) said: “It’s going to have a very big impact on that area in terms of its visibility. If we are going to object, we would have to say about that impact on The Steyne.
We can only object to it being in a conservation area. We can’t object to it on health grounds.”
But the committee’s chairman, Cllr Jeanette Warr (LD, Hotham) said: “We owe it to ourselves and members of the public. We are all aware there are great concerns about the problems. We should object as much as we can and let it to go to Arun. This is a very serious issue.”
The planning application made by MBNL on behalf of EE and Three had seen three objections by Wednesday morning.
One of them was made by Frances Ranson, of Hillsboro Road, who spoke to town councillors at the meeting.
She told Arun: “As I understand it, 5G uses the same technology that the military and police use as a weapon to harm human beings or wildlife.
“It will most definitely have a detrimental biological effect on all life: plants, trees, birds, animals and people, as it is already (been) proven in the armed forces.
“5G gives out a low level high millimetre wave frequency of radiation that is much more powerful than 4G to enable it to enter through brick walls etc which means we will be subject to the radiation also.
“I feel it will be an assault on me in my home as once implemented, nowhere is free of this electromagnetic pollution.”
In a statement with the application, MBNL’s planning agent, Daly International, said: “5G operates across multiple spectrums and therefore requires additional antennas and new equipment cabinets. The signals that are broadcast are more prone to the shadowing effect of adjacent buildings or structures, and also the ‘clipping’ effect of building edges.
“Consequently, the location of antennas on existing rooftops is critical to its effectiveness. …the broadcast levels will also be within agreed International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) guidelines.”