A 5G communications base will be added to an existing mast near the A23.

Mid Sussex District Council approved Cellnex UK's plans to add the 5G equipment to its existing 20-metre lattice tower in green land near Park Road, Handcross.

The upgrade work will involve installing a small-scale GPS node onto an existing antenna pole, installing a new cabinet to the ground base and replacing three existing antennas with new ones.

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In the plans, Cellnex UK argued that this upgraded equipment will be of "extremely small" scale and will be "significantly less visually intrusive" than introducing a new ground-based installation would be.

The company also argued that this new equipment will provide "improved connectivity without detracting from the local landscape character" and will "improve a vital network that provides public services".

Documents about 5G, including research into its potential effects, were submitted as part of the planning process.

A spokesman for Cellnex UK said: "The service provided by the operator is in the public interest and is in very high demand with 5G being the next and highly significant advancement in mobile connectivity.

"In the UK there are now more than 92.5 million subscriptions to mobile networks and mobile services now exceed fixed landlines in terms of customer numbers and usage.

"The public interest of the system is clear from the considerable benefits that will flow and it makes a significant and major contribution towards sustainable objectives."

The plans were approved by the council on May 9.