A rural village has been left split over plans to build a huge 100ft 5G mast, with some desperate for the better phone signal it will bring while others worry it will harm the countryside.

The bid to build the large tower on Thwaite Common in Erpingham has been a point of controversy in the community with North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker wading in and joining protests against it.

Previous attempts to build the mast have been withdrawn but a renewed bid has been put forward to North Norfolk District Council. 

It has gained 28 written objections, with people worrying about the effect it will have on the conservation area, the countryside skyline and fears that 5G masts will harm people's health - a concern that has been debunked by experts.

Eastern Daily Press: Thwaite CommonThwaite Common (Image: Duncan Baker)

These concerns have been bolstered by further opposition from council officers and members of the Alby with Thwaite Parish Council.

But there has also been a swell of support from locals - 31 of whom have lodged their support, saying they are desperate for better wifi and phone signal, claiming currently the village is in a reception blackspot.

Others worry if it isn't built, the imminent digital switchover will leave the village isolated, potentially putting the "vulnerable, elderly and businesses at risk", according to one local.

Eastern Daily Press: An aerial view of where the mast could be built in ErpinghamAn aerial view of where the mast could be built in Erpingham (Image: Google)

Next week, North Norfolk District Council is due to make a final decision on the matter.

In a report to councillors, planning officers have weighed up the pros and cons and decided to recommend that the application be refused on the basis it would have a "stark detrimental visual impact" on the area and landscape.

In addition, they fear it could harm the conservation area surrounding the Grade II Listed Erpingham House, which is situated diagonally opposite the proposed site.

The final showdown will take place next week on March 21.