A BRADFORD councillor has called for more clarity on the planning process around 5G masts.

Councillor Alun Griffiths (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) has called on Bradford Council to publish its policies about 5G infrastructure after receiving many enquiries about the masts which "seem to be springing up without any public consultation and no opportunity for residents to voice their concerns about their appearance and siting".

Cllr Griffiths said: "Just because there is a national drive to roll out the system, and planning policies have been relaxed, I don’t see why the telecommunications companies should be allowed to ride roughshod over the wishes of the local people who at the very least want say in where they are sited and what they look like."

He wrote to Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport Portfolio, to ask him to provide a statement of the Council's policy and procedures.

“I want residents to be able to access a clear description of what the rules are, what their rights are and how they can make their views known," said councillor Griffiths.

“Where the council has discretion in planning law, it is vital that they use that to give residents their say."

A Bradford Council spokesperson, said: “The Council has already been considering this issue and looking at how residents might be better consulted.

"However, due to recent changes in national planning policy the Council has limited powers in relation to this issue.

"We are already going beyond our statutory obligations as we recognise the concern some people have about the visual impact of the masts in their area.

“Applications of this kind do not require a site notice unless in a conservation area, however, we have been posting letters to affected residents to ensure people are aware of the mast proposals and have an opportunity to comment.

“We have also been urging the companies submitting the applications to go much further than their minimum obligations in engaging with the community on where the masts are located.

“Under national permitted development rights we can only make rulings on ‘siting’ and ‘appearance’ but will carefully consider all objections before making decisions.

“Anyone who has concerns or views on any planning applications should make submissions via our online planning system at www.bradford.gov.uk/planning.”

The issue was one which reared its head earlier this year, when many were up in arms over a plan for a 20 metre 5G mast on Bingley Road, near Saltaire.

There were concerns it could affect tourism and attractiveness of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Among those who called for its refusal was Saltaire World Heritage officer Sheena Campbell.

She warned that the existing mast is "visible from the World Heritage Site from the top of Victoria Road and Bingley Road" and that this application would fall within the Saltaire World Heritage Site Buffer Zone.

In August, the decision was made to not class the mast a permitted development, as enshrined in law back in 2019. This means the telecoms company will have to submit a formal planning application.