Concern at plans for giant phone mast next to existing one on busy Stockwood pavement

Plans to erect a 20-metre high telecoms mast next to one already on the pavement outside The Concorde pub in Stockwood Lane are causing concern.

The existing pole is 11.7 metres and is shared by EE and H3G. It provides 2G, 3G and 4G coverage and capacity to the area.

The application lodged with Bristol City Council is to determine if prior approval is needed from the planning authority for the new column. It has been submitted by MBNL (Mobile Broadband Network Ltd) on behalf of Hutchison 3G UK Ltd, who say the proposed height of 20 metres is essential to ensure that the latest 4G and new 5G technologies are provided in and around Bristol.

The new mast would support six antennas. There would be a wraparound equipment cabinet at the base of the column along with three new equipment cabinets. Redundant ones would be removed.

The application says: “The application site is positioned within the wide footway of Stockwood Lane, to the south of Hollway Road. The site has been carefully located in the highway and will be co-located with the existing 2G/3G/4G pole.”

It adds: “The proposed new mast has been sited and designed in order to provide 5G coverage for H3G and to support the existing mobile network. As the new pole will be complementary to the existing 2G/3G/4G mast, it must be immediately adjacent to the existing pole in order to replicate the coverage.”

It adds: “The location enables the whole of the surrounding area to benefit from improved 5G network coverage and has been designed to be future proof, thus enabling other technologies to be deployed depending upon the demand required.”

The application says the most sensitive “slimline” design currently available is being proposed: “There are a number of existing vertical features in the immediate area, including street lighting columns, telegraph poles, utility cabinets, as well as street trees.

“The design of the column is a simple, functional, vertical structure which will not appear incongruous within the street scene.”

The proposed colour of the mast is grey but the application says it can be any colour deemed appropriate by the planning authority.

The application says that nearby Waycroft Academy in Seldon Road – less than half a mile away – was consulted in advance but no response has yet been received.

Concerned local councillor Graham Morris has asked for a local public consultation area to gather residents’ views. He described the height of the proposed mast as “obtrusive”.

And fellow ward councillor Steve Jones said: “I consider that both the height and location of the proposed mast to be out of keeping with the street scene in Stockwood.”

He said the width of the pavement would be impacted “potentially endangering pedestrians using this extremely busy footpath”.

Writing to the council to object to the plans, a Stockwood Lane resident said: “I would like to object to the proposed application on the grounds that it will compromise safety (taking up 30% of the public footpath) causing obstruction to the well-used public footpath that is used by OAPs and schoolchildren on a daily basis, that provides safety from a very busy main road.

“I would also like to object to the 20m height of the mast column that is not in keeping with the local area and will be an eyesore to the local community.”

The planning reference is 20/03137/Y. Consultation ends on 20th August. The council is due to make a decision next month.