The Government are pushing with all their might, convinced that this technology is the step towards a more convenient and easy lifestyle. In addition they don't want to be seen as putting up barriers for the operators who have just paid them billions in license fees... (Though Mast Sanity have discovered that they have managed to get much of it back through tax relief!)
Local councils are regularly approached by numerous operators with biased PR literature. We understand at least 2 operators have approached every councillor in the country with newsletters or brochures. Councillors are being led by skilled PR individuals into partly believing that we are ALL hysterical fools! Can't blame the PR people they are THE BEST in the business, they have to be to sell the safety of masts.
The pressure from the operators and government on councils is huge. They all feel pressured into accepting mast applications regardless of the public opposition. As a result you have to play the game. In politics bad publicity loses them votes. The route of the planning procedure means that if they refuse an application, unless the council is particularly pro active in this area (they exist but are understandably few) only the loudest campaigns will win.
It's a very very wrong situation but many councillors right across the country, right across the political spectrum, privately admit to their local residents that the council cannot refuse these applications because of the fear of the cost of appeal by the operators. In fact if the residents appealed a negative decision (via Judicial review) it is actually more expensive. However when councils weigh up the risk they know that it is the operators who are more likely to challenge decisions than the local residents.