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Sheffield council apologises for 5G masts failure

Words: Huw Morris
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Sheffield City Council has apologised for failing to process planning applications for three 5G masts on time.

The applications, by Cornerstone & Vodafone Ltd, have been granted permitted development rights. The operator is now required to submit a prior notification application to determine whether approval is needed for the siting and appearance of the masts.

Sheffield said it would have approved two of the applications if they had been processed in time, but would have rejected a third.

It added that if a council does not determine an application within 56 days of receipt, or extend the timescale by agreement with the applicant before the 56-day period lapses, then the proposals obtain deemed consent, with the council losing the power to either approve or refuse.

“The council apologises for this mistake but hopes people will understand we are operating in extraordinary circumstances which have led to these oversights occurring,” said cabinet member for transport and sustainability Bob Johnson. “We understand residents’ depth of feeling about the location of these masts and we are sorry that they were not properly determined within the time limit.”

On the third application, which would have been denied, Sheffield said it has contacted the operator to express its view “that this is an inappropriate site for this mast and [we] are actively working with them to discuss alternatives”.

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