Plans to install a 5G mast in the tower of a 500-year-old Norwich city centre church have been withdrawn after a number of objections and a petition against the plans.

The Churches Conservation Trust, which looks after St Augustine's Church in the city's NR3 area, was due to be paid £5,000 a year for 20 years towards the upkeep of the 15th-century church in return for the installation of the mast.

But now 5G installation company, Net Coverage Solutions, has pulled its application after receiving a number of objections claiming the plans would "desecrate" the 17th-century brick tower, which is the only one of its kind in the Fine City and one of only a few in Britain.

Norwich Evening News: Plans for the mast amassed a number of objections and a petitionPlans for the mast amassed a number of objections and a petition (Image: Newsquest)

One objector said: "It would be an absolute travesty to desecrate this Grade I-listed building, recorded in the National Heritage list for England, for the sake of technology.

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"This would potentially cause unknown harm to the very sacred fabric of this medieval and wonderful building."

The withdrawal came after a number of extensions to the decision deadline were granted by Norwich City Council as the installation company tried to get specialist reports together in response to planning queries asking about the site's suitability.

Norwich Evening News: Plans would have seen the mast installed in the church's brick towerPlans would have seen the mast installed in the church's brick tower (Image: Newsquest)

When withdrawing the application, bosses at Net Coverage Solutions said they would be interested in resubmitting the plans once the reports were complete.

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A petition against the plans was also set up by community leader Stuart MacLaren due to concerns over the "historical impact" of the mast.

But following a consultation meeting at the church in July this year, Mr MacLaren said he was "more receptive" to the plans, despite preferring them not to go ahead.

Mr MacLaren welcomed the withdrawal of plans which he said would "interfere" with history.

He said: "This is very welcome news. 

"There was considerable local opposition to the plan and an online petition received support from 84 people."