PLANNING approval is not needed to upgrade a Keighley phone mast – and two others in the district ­– to 5G, according to council officers.

An application was submitted to Bradford Council in April to replace a mast at the top of New Devonshire House, in Devonshire Street.

There were also applications for two sites in Bradford.

But planning officers have said the schemes meet national guidelines and so prior permission isn’t required.

Keighley town centre is among the first areas in West Yorkshire set to see the introduction of a 5G – or fifth generation – network.

The proposal – put forward by EE and 3G UK – met with an objection from a resident, who voiced concerns about the potential health implications of increased levels of wireless radiation.

However, EE said the launch of 5G was “another milestone” for the UK and it refuted suggestions there was any risk to health.

“It will increase reliability and speeds and keep our customers connected where they need it most,” said a spokesman. “We’ll keep evolving as we move to one, smart network. We have an ambition to connect our customers to 4G, 5G or Wi-Fi 100 per cent of the time.

“All wireless technologies are rolled-out under strict guidelines which are based on medical studies and reviewed on an ongoing basis. There are no proven health concerns.”