Legal Challenge Against UK Government For Allowing Telco’s 5G Phone Masts Without Planning Permission

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By Jessica Learmond-Cruiqui, 30 September 2020

With the assistance of barrister David Wolfe QC, I have today issued legal proceedings which launches a legal challenge by way of Judicial Review to the Government’s recent decision (22 July 2020) to scrap the requirement for mobile phone companies to apply for planning permission before installing masts, antennae and cell towers up and down the country as the UK gears up for 5G.   

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The decision being challenged was made jointly by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) and the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DDCMS).  This was against the backdrop of longstanding and widespread public concern about health issues, particularly the risk of radiation sickness, relating to 5G infrastructure – and ahead of the installation of a further 400,000 units at least (exact figure not known as mobile operators are no longer obliged to report it). We will claim in court that the Government’s decision did not comply with the requirements of a lawful consultation and will ask the court to quash it, to make way for a fresh – lawful – decision to be made.  

This legal challenge represents the voice of reason in the 5G debate, relying on establishment channels and due legal process to ensure rational Government decision-making in this matter and challenging the authorities where reason is absent.  We argue that the Government has failed to discharge its legal duty to give ‘conscientious consideration’ to consultation responses – and specifically that civil servants withheld vital information from the Secretaries of State as they made their decision to relax planning permission requirements to expedite the roll-out of 5G.  Indeed the Government’s formal reply [dated 21 September 2020] to our Letter Before Action confirms that the entire body of detailed, cross-referenced and evidenced scientific material that accompanied their consultation response was never  presented to Ministers. 

Among other points listed in the Judicial Review application, we point out that the UK Government’s reliance on guidelines produced by the International Commission on non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is flawed, as these represent only a minority view amongst scientists and healthcare researchers.  There is already a huge body of work by specialist biochemists, scientists and doctors citing adverse effects on health of prolonged exposure to man-made pulsed high frequency electromagnetic radiation at levels well below the ICNIRP-recommended guideline maxima.  None of this evidence, all of which was detailed in consultation responses, was presented to Ministers.

We are invoking the EU’s ‘Precautionary Principle’, contending that the Government’s support of the roll-out of this technology before potential adverse health effects have been independently assessed, amounts to treating the general population as live subjects in a UK-wide ‘in vivo’ experiment on man made mmWave radiation.  This is contrary to the Nuremberg Code, among other international conventions, and to English Law.

We are arguing that until widespread use of the mmWave bands is deemed safe for long-term human exposure, based on evidenced and peer-reviewed research, mobile phone companies should be made to cease and desist the 5G rollout – and that therefore the UK Government’s recent decision to remove the planning permission requirements for mobile companies is highly irresponsible and should be judicially reviewed. 

We are campaigning for a rational review of the Government’s process in coming to this irrational decision to allow mobile phone companies to erect 5G masts, antennae and cell towers anywhere, anytime, without even having to apply for planning permission. It is clear that the consultation process has been completely undermined: the Government has now admitted that the scientific evidence submitted by the campaigners who are party to the Judicial Review proceedings was never presented to the Ministers making the decision. 

When questions about risk to public health have been raised, it is simply not right for civil servants to take it upon themselves to withhold vital scientific and other evidence.  And further, while there is so much ambiguity around health issues associated with 5G infrastructure, it cannot be right to give mobile phone companies carte blanche to invade our cities, towns, communities and residential streets with controversial technology.

The content of our judicial review application demonstrates clearly that the Government did not follow due process in reaching its decision to jettison the requirement for mobile phone companies to apply for planning permission, and certainly did not give the matter (particularly the responses they received to their consultation document) the conscientious consideration the authorities are required to by law.”

While writing, the fundraising has been going well, but we need to be sure that we have enough funds to get to the end.  If you are able to make further small donations, please fee free to do so on:


Do see the positive press coverage we have so far received today following the issue of proceedings:

Evening Standard – 30.9.20

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Our mission


We are pro-technology and recognise that the future of the UK economy is dependent on emerging technologies. But we seek to ensure that the UK government ensures that these techs demonstrate that there is evidence of no harm for all residents of the UK and that our government and relevant industries are accountable for known human safety threats.

We will take the UK government to court in order to change its policy on man-made radiofrequency radiation which includes 5G.

We want to ensure that the telecoms and related industries involved in the roll out of wireless technology are required to deploy equipment and gadgets which are safe for us all.

We also want the estimated 800,000+ residents in the UK suffering from electrohypersensitivity to be protected from harm, to be able to engage in public life and to visit public areas without feeling ill.

We must raise £150,000 to fund the campaign. We need your help.

What We’ve Achieved so far:



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