Published: 06:00, 24 November 2020
| Updated: 12:09, 24 November 2020
A bid to erect a 5G mast the height of four double-decker buses has been launched – prompting fears the “monstrosity” will ruin a leafy road.
Mobile network Three wants to build the 20-metre transmitter on a grass verge at the junction between Whitstable Road and Westgate Court Avenue in Canterbury.
The communications giant says the structure is needed to improve signal in the surrounding area and claims its obtrusiveness will be reduced by a number of trees nearby.
But worried residents fear it will be an eyesore that dwarfs the trees, which are no more than 15 metres tall.
Sophie McCallum, of Westgate Court Avenue, fumed: “I think it will be an eyesore because it’s higher than the trees, and they won’t provide any kind of screening.
“I think whacking a great big mast there will just look hideous.
“We only moved in here last year, and we made sure to check if anything could be developed on the grass verge.
“I wouldn’t have moved here if I’d known a mast was going to go up.”
If approved, the structure will be fitted with four equipment cabinets at its base, six antennas and two dishes.
Whitstable Road resident Pru Cherry is also opposed to the mast, believing it would be a "monstrosity".
“I think it will be a hideous eyesore," she explained. "Despite Three's attempts to disguise it, it’ll be very obtrusive, particularly in winter when there aren’t any leaves on the trees.
“This is a lovely, leafy, tree-lined road. Apart from the traffic, the view opposite of trees is lovely at the moment.
“We are going to be looking at this monstrosity for the foreseeable future."
In papers submitted to Canterbury City Council, Three says the green-coloured mast will provide much-needed coverage to residents whose signal does not meet service requirements.
It adds that it had considered plots in Rheims Way, St Dunstan’s Street, Redwood Close and on the corner of University Road and Whitstable Road before settling on its chosen site.
Three also argues the new 5G coverage will "enable businesses and residents in Canterbury to get faster and more reliable network coverage both now and in the future".
A spokesman added: “We know that over time, as more services go online and digital consumption habits continue to change, our network will need more capacity in Canterbury to meet demand.
“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they do need to be situated near to where people will be using it and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest coverage.”
Three's scheme comes after it was given the green light to erect another 5G mast in the city on a grass verge at the junction between Honeywood Close and Sturry Road.