Published: 06:00, 18 September 2020
| Updated: 13:24, 18 September 2020
An "eyesore" 5G phone mast the height of three double-decker buses is set to be erected - prompting some residents to consider moving.
The new 50ft transmitter will be installed at the junction between Honeywood Close and Sturry Road, Canterbury, and operated by mobile network Three.
It will tower over properties near Invicta Motors and Papa Johns Pizza takeaway.
David Twyman, of Honeywood Close, believes the transmitter will be an unsightly addition to the area.
"I don't fancy it. It's going to be an eyesore," the 76-year-old said.
"I don't have any trouble with my phone and nor does my daughter - so I don't think it's needed.
"There's got to be somewhere else to put it, like a field or close to the play park nearby."
Meanwhile, mature student Michelle Clohesy, 43, says the lofty structure would look "out of place".
"It's going to look pretty ugly," she added.
"I'm more concerned about the health risks, though, associated with them.
"I was completely unaware about the plans. I might move before it gets put there."
The electromagnetic radiation used by mobile phone technologies has led some people to worry about increased health risks, including developing certain types of cancer.
"I don't have any trouble with my phone and nor does my daughter - so I don't think it's needed..."
But the government says that while a small increase in exposure to radio waves is possible when 5G is added to the existing network, "the overall exposure is expected to remain low".
And the frequency range of the 5G signals being introduced is well below those considered harmful by experts.
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd (HG3) - which is part of the Three network - argues the planned site in Sturry is shielded by mature trees and that existing street furniture such as lampposts will help the mast blend in.
Original plans had been for a 20-metre transmitter, but these were revised and the height reduced.
HG3 says this is the "absolute minimum" size capable of providing the required new coverage.
No planning permission is required for the mast as it qualifies as a permitted development due to its scale.
Northgate councillor Jean Butcher (Lab) says the technology is the “way forward” - especially when more people are working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “It is a very residential area, but then again lots of people want 5G because this is the technology now going forward.
“It is a permitted development but we can make sure that it complies with health and safety so we can give assurance to the local residents in our ward.”