PLANS for a 20 metre-high telecommunications mast have been approved by councillors despite health concerns over the use of 5G technology.

The mast will be built on land south-west of the airport roundabout at Ponteland, and will replace an existing 15-metre mast.

The development will improve mobile phone signal for residents in the area, but concerns over the safety of 5G technology were raised when the application was debated at the latest meeting of Castle Morpeth Local Area Council on Monday.

John Blundell, from Darras Hall, objected to the application and spoke against it at the meeting.

He said: “Other countries have called a halt to 5G. The UN precautionary principle is there to avoid catastrophic decisions being made.

“Councillors need to use that precautionary principle.

“All the research clearly shows that mobile phone technology is damaging to health. This comes from the leading scientists in the world. There’s over 200 papers.”

Ponteland Town Council also objected on health grounds.

But councillors approved the decision, claiming the objections should be made to a higher body.

Coun. David Towns said: “To be honest, we can only make decisions on material planning.

“The objections are to the government. I don’t think a local planning committee is the right place to raise them.

“We would just get appealed and it would cost the taxpayer £100,000, which could be better spent.”

Coun. Richard Dodd added: “I’m not a scientist – we’re all laymen. We have to take a balanced view.

“When microwaves came in we were were all going to be brain dead. As a council we’re rolling out 5G in remote areas. We’re not going to stop it.”