Plans for six fast internet masts thrown away after hundreds of objections

Six high-speed internet pylons have been denied building permits after hundreds of Salford residents objected – but they could be built anyway.

The 15 meter masts would provide full fiber broadband using radio equipment.

IX Wireless, the company behind the plans, offers ‘ultra-fast gigabit-capable broadband’ at competitive prices using ‘cutting edge’ wireless technology.

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Fiber optic cables run along the masts and small Wi-Fi distributors with a range of 1 km would allow customers to connect to the network from their home.

Salford city officials said the company can build the masts without planning permission, but the antennas at the top will require prior approval.

But on behalf of the company, planning manager Joanne Kay said IX Wireless would connect properties to the mast if the antennas were not allowed.

She said: “We firmly believe that the network will bring significant benefits to the residents of Salford and not only will the service provide greater choice for consumers, but the services will also be competitively priced and offer real value for money.” .

“We believe our network will deliver real value to the people of Salford and deliver savings of over £144 over a typical contract length.”

The company offers ‘guaranteed’ internet speed of 100MB for £21.99 per month, which it says compares favorably with competitors in Salford.

People with bad credit who may be barred from contracts with other Internet service providers can access the IX Wireless network, and about 20 pc of the network is provided free of charge to those in need.

But the planning panel did not buy the pitch from the Blackburn-based company.

Residents described the metal pylons — four of which were planned in the Eccles and another two in Swinton — as “monstrous structures.”

Some said the masts have caused ‘distress’ at the expense of mental health.

Conservative councilor Robin Garrido accused the company of failing to properly consult with those affected – a complaint many residents repeated.

Eccles councilor Sharmina August disputed claims by the company urging the panel not to be swayed by a “improvement infrastructure story.”

She said: “This is here to fund the competition and line providers. We’re not here to do what’s best for businesses. We’re here to do what’s best for our residents.”

Joseph Timan, Local Democracy Reporter for Salford and Wigan at the Manchester Evening News

Jo is a Local Democracy Reporter for councils, the NHS and other public services in Manchester and Greater Manchester.

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Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long Bailey also objected to the applications in her constituency during the planning panel meeting on Thursday (Dec. 16).

The Labor MP said the company had not provided sufficient evidence in the plans to show it had considered alternative locations for the new masts.

She also shared examples of other local authorities in Greater Manchester who have refused construction permits for similar masts from this company.

She said: “If it’s good enough for councilors in Bolton to object, then frankly it could be done in Salford today. And I hope you do too.”

The planning committee rejected all six applications from IX Wireless.

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