Planning chiefs have given the go-ahead for a 20-metre-high 5G mast to be built in a residential area of Renfrew.

CK Hutchison Networks Ltd asked Renfrewshire Council if it could place the towering piece of equipment in Paisley Road between numbers 234 and 248.

And the planning department has now responded saying the firm needs no prior approval to put up the mast.

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It would be operated by H3G – better known as the phone network Three – which is in the process of building “the UK’s fastest 5G network”.

In documents submitted by agents WHP Telecoms, it states there is a need to upgrade the network in the area to provide improved coverage and capacity.

The papers say: “This proposal forms part of an integral requirement for CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd to expand its 5G telecommunications network across Renfrew, specifically in this instance to enhance 5G coverage levels and network capacity within the Moorpark area.

“Three are in the process of building out the UK’s fastest 5G network. To bring this new technology to the people, CK Hutchison Networks will need to provide a mix of upgrades to existing sites and the building of new sites.

“Mobile phone base stations operate on low power and accordingly base stations, therefore, need to be located in the areas they are required to serve. Increasingly, people are also using their mobiles in their homes and this means we need to position base stations in, or close to, residential areas.

“The site has been selected on a wide adopted area of the highway in a position that will not impede pedestrian flow or the safety of passing motorists.

“This equipment is considered unlikely to have any material impact on the local area but significant connectivity improvements.”

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CK Hutchison Networks say because the location is surrounded by tall trees and street lights the mast should “blend in” to the area.

The company insists the height of the pole has been kept down to the “absolute minimum” while ensuring it is still capable of providing the new 5G coverage.

Alasdair Morrison, the council’s head of economy and development, said in his decision notice: “I have examined your proposal and consider it is unlikely to have a significant impact on its surroundings.

“The proposed development can be carried out with five years.”

The overall performance rate of 5G, which was introduced in 2019, is said to be up to 100 times faster than that of 4G, offering download speeds of between 10 and 20 gigabytes per second.

This means it would take around two minutes to download a three-hour film.