Residents have stepped up their campaign against a 5G pilot project planned for Coverdale.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 5G testbed and trials initiative aims to bring mobile connectivity and ultra-fast broadband to the area where mobile phone coverage is almost non-existent.
MANY, a collaboration between the council and Quickline Communications, has said it has held discussions with parish councils and community members, but some residents say communities have not been consulted on the plans.
They have published a document entitled ‘Protect Coverdale from an intrusive communications network’, which questions the roll-out of the scheme.
As well as raising health concerns about the new technology, the report also claims that four 45ft masts are set to be erected in the dale as part of the scheme.
The document states: “A growing number of us are urgently asking the national park to stop the rollout of the masts until Coverdale residents have seen all the facts and decided for themselves whether they approve of the plan.”
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority confirmed they had received applications for several masts in the Coverdale area.
A spokesperson said: “We have received a small number of applications from mobile technology providers to erect phone masts in Coverdale as part of a government funded trial to support the development of future rural connectivity in areas that have no mobile coverage.
“These applications are being dealt with on a case by case basis and as objections are received we will look closely at them as part of the application process.
“We would add that, as a local planning authority, we can only consider the design and siting of masts not the technology itself.”
North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for access, Councillor Don Mackenzie has previously said the authority had made “every effort to make people aware” that the trial was going ahead.
Cllr Mackenzie said there was no evidence that suggests 5G is harmful to health at the sort of frequencies that would be used in Coverdale.
He added: “We had exactly the same fears expressed when we introduced 2G, 3G and 4G technology.”
Campaigners are running a weekly Zoom presentation outlining their concerns about the scheme every Thursday at 6pm.
For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.