Fishersgate mast in Brighton, quashed at Judicial Review

We now have the recognition that Local Planning Authorities need to address the health impacts of 5G mast proposals further, without blindly accepting self certified ICNIRP certificates without proper scrutiny. Thank you to all those who donated, without your donations this could not have happened, it is a shame that we have to go to these lengths to get our Local Authorities to do their jobs properly. Costs of £13k were awarded against Brighton and Hove City council (BHCC) in this instance.

BHCC conceded on all 3 grounds in the Judicial Review Challenge including:

“the Council failed to address the health impacts of this particular proposal and to obtain adequate evidence of the assessment of the proximity to the school and the amended proposal” 

The High Court of Justice issued the Consent Order on 4th November 2021.

The council and applicant also failed to consider other sites properly, and the council ignored highway safety concerns. Most significantly, the proposed mast was 27m from a school and no properly evaluated exclusion zones were provided (normally up to 50m), as required with an ICNIRP certificate.

This part of the case revolved around the Council failing to request an updated ICNIRP certificate after the Applicant moved the mast location, nearer to the school. As we know these certificates do not cover long term exposure or non-thermal effects, but in this case even the effects they should anticipate were not considered.

This doesn’t open the door as a legal precedent to all known evidence about non-thermal chronic exposure having to be considered (as material planning considerations showing incompatible use of the site vs. the compatible use claimed under Policy 118 with the self certified ICNIRP paper), but you could also use the result to argue that health effects within 500m should also be addressed, and the Councils’ duty of care be properly executed. If you have an equivalent situation or a mast very close to homes with children then the parallel with the case could be argued.

The planners and councillors do say they are not scientists and can be overwhelmed by the “science/evidence”. The government have placed liability and the duty to weigh evidence in their lap, at the same time as having one policy (118) which on the face of it tells them they cannot do that. This double bind affects all of us, unless councils properly take into account other material planning considerations, as they should, alongside other policy.

One or two studies can help them more than sending the 1000’s available. The latest Spanish paper (LOPEZ et al 2021) is extremely relevant, also the JD Pearce paper:

What is the radiation before 5G? A correlation study between measurements in situ and in real time and epidemiological indicators in Vallecas, Madrid

Limiting liability with positioning to minimize negative health effects of cellular phone towers

link to Comment on a Mast

Councils need to know that they could face a Judicial Review if they don’t address the information and evidence you present them. Keep asking where the exclusion zones fall, what the antenna spec is, if phased array what are the field strengths, where are hotspots etc; and don’t accept any decision where you suspect there is a residence within the official exclusion zone.

If health impacts need to be assessed by a school then by deduction one could argue that equally children need to be protected at home and information you present about health impacts should be addressed. If there are homes very close to the mast which house children, you could point this out and then link to the Brighton precedent. (ref planning app no. BH2021/016)