RENEWED site plans for wireless broadband masts in North Swindon were unveiled at a public meeting this week.

UKB Networks called the meeting, held at the Redhouse Community Centre to explain the company’s current stance and go through new mast locations.

Swindon Borough Council has signed a deal with UKB Networks to provide superfast broadband for 20,000 homes which are currently without the service.

Last month, the planning committee rejected all five of the masts in North Swindon, despite three being recommended for approval, meaning the scheme cannot currently progress.

UKBN’s CEO Nick James said: “This is about giving people a chance to see how we have chosen these locations and find out any concerns that people may have. Ultimately we want to work together on this and get people the fastest service.”

During the meeting, UKBN raised the issue of making six mast locations, with a new Thamesdown Drive location, which was warmly welcomed by residents.

Graham Currier, UKBN’s head of networks showed radio maps of proposed new sites for the masts including a six and seven mast site map.

Local resident and Haydon Wick Parish Councillor Damon Bower queried whether the new mast locations would solve “the huge bugbear that is Cassini Drive.”

Graham said UKB had conducted a thorough survey of the area and these are the only sites available to ensure most residents can receive a signal.

“We have had a walk round and these locations are the only places that will work for masts that are not directly opposite schools, play areas or houses. We are limited in what else we can do as our five site location has been refused and the other is the only other real option,” he said.

“Our six site location may work but it would increase the amount of postcodes that would be out of the range to receive the speeds we want to deliver.”

Residents then had the chance to take to the floor to speak about areas of concern, with Haydon Wick councillor Oliver Donachie pressing Mr James on whether a service would be capped and if masts would be used for “ancillary purposes”.

“We cannot comment on this because we are the wholesaler and not the provider,” Mr James said.

“I am happy to say that masts will not be taken by other companies and used for other purposes.”

UKBN will now submit their new plans to Swindon Borough Council.

While there is support in rural areas many residents in North Swindon have opposed the scheme, which is being funded in part by £2 million of public money, saying fibre is the only real solution.

Openreach, BT’s local network business, is conducting a new trial of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology in the Haydon Wick development, Swindon this Spring.

The trial will involve building fibre-optic connections direct from the local telephone exchange to around 500 premises in the area.