Plans for a 5G mast on top of a 17th-century church tower in Norwich have taken a step closer.

The mast could be built on the tower of St Augustine's Church in the city's NR3 area after plans were submitted to Norwich City Council at the end of last month.

It comes after a public meeting held to discuss the plans in May revealed 5G contractor Net Coverage Solutions was offering the Churches' Conservation Trust £5,000 a year for 20 years to build the mast, with all money set to go into the church's upkeep.

Norwich Evening News: St Augustine's Church in Norwich's NR3 areaSt Augustine's Church in Norwich's NR3 area (Image: Newsquest)

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The brick tower is the only one of its kind in the Fine City and one of few in the country, having been added to the 15th-century church.

According to the application, six antennas would be built on top of the Grade I listed tower along with two GPS nodes positioned behind the parapet, which trust boss Simon Willes says would "hardly be visible from the ground".

Norwich Evening News: Simon Willes, Churches Conservation Trust's south-east region managerSimon Willes, Churches Conservation Trust's south-east region manager (Image: Newsquest)

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In its planning statement, Net Coverage Solutions says it has installed equipment on historic church towers before and is "aware of the sensitivity" of working with historic religious buildings.

Plans had initially prompted disapproval from some living nearby, with community leader Stuart MacLaren saying he objected to the plans due to their "historical impact" despite recognising the church needed funding.

However, after a meeting which Mr Willes said saw many "leave with their minds changed", Mr MacLaren said he was more receptive.

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Mr MacLaren, secretary of the St Augustine's Community Together Residents' Association, said: "I would rather it didn't happen, but I am more receptive following the meeting.

"Historical impact was my main concern but it seems the plans will keep impact to the minimum.

"I'm reassured, but it is an ancient monument and the brick tower is unique in Norwich so I'd prefer it to be left alone."

A decision is due to be made by Thursday, August 24.