Plans to erect a giant 5G mast in the heart of a Sunderland neighbourhood have been axed, thanks to the campaigning of a local councillor.

Cllr Phil Tye, Labour councillor for Silksworth, has helped prevent a 25metre mast from being erected just yards from the homes of local residents.

Adjacent to Silksworth Comrades Club, the proposed mast was designed to replace the existing roof mounted masts and would have towered over numerous homes.

After listening to the concerns of nearby residents, Cllr Tye contacted the developer of the mast and offered to work with them to source an alternative site which would allow the area to benefit from 5G connectivity, without impacting upon the lives of residents.

“After engaging with those directly impacted by the proposals, I sat down with the developer and offered to work closely with them on refining their plans, which I have to say, they’ve been really receptive to,” Cllr Tye said.

“As a community, there’s no hiding from the fact that 5G is essential to ensuring our businesses and residents can remain connected, but this can’t be at the expense of our quality of life and I’m hopeful that, by working with – as opposed to against – the developer, we can secure the best possible outcome for everybody.”

The news marks the second time in a year that Cllr Tye has helped prevent masts being erected in sensitive areas, following his successful campaign in February to block a 5G mast from being perched on the side of the Tunstall Hills nature reserve.

He added: “In February 2022, after we stopped a mast from being built on the edge of Tunstall Hill, the Conservative Government changed the planning rules to prevent local councils from refusing any further masts, including areas such as nature reserves and national parks.

“In reality, this means it’s as easy for a developer to erect a mast in a sensitive area as it is for you or me to build a minor extension at our home or install a new garden fence.

“The entire concept is nonsense, it’s nothing other than a cynical attempt to take away local opposition from the very people that will have to live with the developments day in, day out.”

Joanne Laverick, the Labour candidate for Silksworth in the upcoming local elections, also worked with Cllr Tye to ensure residents had their voices heard.

She added: “As a resident of Silksworth, I completely understood the frustrations surrounding the development, so I was overjoyed when I heard the news.

“The fact that they are also willing to work with the community to identify a more suitable location, which doesn’t impact upon the lives of residents, is the best result we could’ve hoped for.

“It’s exactly how local politics should function, giving our communities a voice and empowering them to drive the decisions that shape the areas in which they live.”