PLANS to bring a new installation that would improve 5G connectivity in Atherton have been refused.

Making an application to Wigan Council in May, CK Hutchison Networks proposed to install a 16-metre 5G mast with supporting antennas and cabinets, on the junction of Stanley Street and Leigh Road in Atherton.

The proposals would have seen the mast installed on pedestrian land next to Atherton Central Park and a short distance away from Atherton cemetery.

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Leigh Journal: The installation would have sat on pedestrian land next to Atherton Central ParkThe installation would have sat on pedestrian land next to Atherton Central Park (Image: Google Maps)

When submitting the plans, CK Hutchison Networks stated that there is a "specific requirement for an installation in this location", to ensure that the latest quality 3G and 4G service provision is provided in the area.

High-speed 5G connectivity would also have been provided to ensure that internet coverage and capacity requirements were "maintained and enhanced".

Following a public consulation, some residents expressed their support for the plans to improve the internet connectivity around Atherton.

Leigh Journal: The installation would have stood at 16 metres tallThe installation would have stood at 16 metres tall (Image: Wigan Council)

However, the public feedback on Wigan Council's planning portal was overwhelming against the plans, with many objecting to the "eyesore" installation and suggesting that the location is not suitable.

Labour councillors for Atherton & Lilford South, John Harding, Debra Wailes, and Lee McStein, also voiced their objections to the plans.

With the telecommunications pole to be situated on one of the main routes from Atherton into Leigh, adjacent to maintained green spaces and the main park in Atherton, and obstructing more than a dozen properties, Cllr Harding called the location "wholly inappropriate for the siting for this mast".

The councillor stated that he is not opposed to telecommunications masts as there is a "need for greater capacity and speed", but suggested that there are alternative sites a reasonable distance away that would not have raised as many objections.

Leigh Journal: Residents objected to the plans due to neighbouring properties and green spacesResidents objected to the plans due to neighbouring properties and green spaces (Image: Google Maps)

Independent Network councillor for Atherton North, Stuart Gerrard, also objected to the plans.

He called the location unsuitable as the mast would be very imposing at the park entrance, and asked the telecommunications company to reconsider "where they want to site this monstrosity".

Taking things into consideration, Wigan Council Planning Committee refused the plans as they would be "visually intrusive and incongruous in the street scene to the detriment of the character of the area".

Planning officials agreed that the proposals would also have an adverse impact on neighbouring residents and trees within the adjacent park.

The report concluded: "The applicant has failed to demonstrate any justification for this location that would outweigh the harm caused by the proposed siting and appearance of the mast."