THE LEADER of Southampton City Council has said she is ‘disappointed’ planning decisions can be ignored by telecoms firms putting up 5G masts.

Councillor Satvir Kaur said she finds it ‘worrying’ that 5G masts are being put up more easily after Government made changes to speed up the rollout of faster internet.

Firms do not need planning permission to install masts of up to 25 metres. They are installed under what is known as permitted development rights.

It comes after several residents in the Southampton area opposed masts being installed – with one woman parking her car over the spot one was due to be constructed.

“While it’s important to have improved digital infrastructure across the city, this must in my opinion be done in consultation with local communities who know their area best.

“It’s disappointing that local planning decisions can and will now be ignored.”