Sheffield City Council has commented on planning application requests for three new 5G masts in the city.

The planning applications, made by Cornerstone & Vodafone Ltd, were for masts in Greenhill Parkway, Laycocks Sports Club, Archer Road, and Rustlings Road. The applications were submitted but the council has said it has not been able to process the applications in time and, as a result, the company now has the go-ahead to erect the masts.

It was determined that, if they had been processed within the timescales, two of the applications, for Greenhill Parkway and Laycocks Sports Club on Archer Road, would have been given approval but that the third, in Rustlings Road, would have been denied.

These works are granted Permitted Development rights by virtue of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 2015, and all an Operator is required to do is submit a Prior Notification application to determine whether approval is required for the siting and appearance of the equipment.

If the Council does not determine the 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. Unfortunately this was the case in these applications and the Council has now lost the power to either approve or refuse the application.

Councillor Bob Johnson, Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability at Sheffield City Council, said: “The Council apologises for this mistake but hope people will understand we are operating in extraordinary circumstances which have led to these oversights occurring. 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. In relation to Rustlings Road, we are in contact with the company to express our view that this is an inappropriate site for this mast and are actively working with them to discuss alternatives.

“We are also writing to all residents in the three areas to explain the situation.”