OPPOSITION is mounting to a 5G mast at a shopping precinct.

Kearsley councillor Mark Cunningham has spoken out against plans for the new mast at Kearsley shopping precinct in Manchester Road ­— as he believes residents have not had their chance to have a say on the proposals.

Another Kearsley councillor Paul Heslop has also spoken out against the plans ­— saying the mast could have a negative effect on residents and house prices.

The latest plans came after WHP Telecoms Ltd wrote to Kearsley councillors, on behalf of mobile operator Three, to enter into discussions about the plans.

Cllr Cunningham said: “WHP Telecoms Ltd wrote to myself and my two other councillor colleagues in Kearsley, inviting us to enter into a pre-planning discussion with them on the proposal before they submitted their application.

“I was concerned that they may be hoping to get their application through as a permitted development which means that as long as they follow certain criteria it is more difficult for objections from the public to have sufficient weight to stop the application succeeding.

“I discovered that they had already submitted their formal planning application three days before they actually wrote to councillors which automatically set the clock ticking.

“I needed to understand the rational for them putting the mast in their proposed location when there are potentially other less visually intrusive sites close to this.

“What is clear is that they only want to put their masts on pavements and adopted verges to save them the time and costs associated with trying to acquire sites on private land ­— but this is clearly a commercial decision and not for the benefit of Kearsley residents.”

Cllr Cunningham has called on the application to be decided by the planning committee. Residents can submit objections by June 5.