Planning permission for a phone mast in the middle of a busy footpath close to three schools in Stevenage has been refused.

CK Hutchison Networks (UK) had wanted to put a new phone mast in Chells Way, next to 1 The Glebe, "to ensure the latest high-quality 3G and 4G service provision can be provided", as well as new 5G coverage.

However, prior approval has been refused by Stevenage Borough Council.

The council's planning officer said the proposed siting of the mast would "unacceptably reduce the width of the footpath for disabled persons", and result in "harm to highway safety and convenience".


The footpath provides access to The Glebe shopping centre, two primary schools - Camps Hill and Lodge Farm - and Nobel secondary school.

"The council does not feel that a significant obstruction in this location, close to a busy highway on a highly trafficked pedestrian route is acceptable," the planning officer said.

"The benefits of improved connectivity do not outweigh the harms that would be faced by pedestrians, especially disabled persons, trying to navigate this area."