Has underground spring foiled plans for a new 5G mast in Cadbury Heath?

A phone giant’s plans to erect a 5G mast near the parade of shops in Cadbury Heath is looking uncertain after an underground spring was reportedly discovered.

According to a local parish councillor, work on the pavement at the junction of School Road and Newton Road was aborted after the spring was discovered and the hole was filled in.

The application and subsequent appeal for a 15-metre mast – just a stone’s throw from another of the same height – were made on behalf of CK Hutchinson Networks (UK) Ltd by WHP Telecoms. In Issue 723 in March we reported that a planning inspector had allowed the second mast.

WHP Telecoms had initially wanted an 18-metre high mast but that was refused last summer with South Gloucestershire Council planners saying it would tower over nearby shops, which have residential properties above them, and would harm the look of the area. The council also said that the applicant had not supplied enough information to show there was no suitable alternative site.

A subsequent application which reduced the proposed height to 15 metres to help it “blend into the surrounding area” was also blocked by the council on similar grounds.

An appeal was then lodged with the Secretary of State, with the planning inspector  allowing the mast, saying it would not be incongruous nor result in unacceptable overbearing effects on nearby occupiers.

In their appeal WHP Telecoms had said the new mast would significantly improve connectivity: “This area suffers from poor access to digital services to the detriment of local residents and businesses. It is vital to consider that a new 5G option is required in this location.”

They said the cell search area was “extremely constrained with the only viable option having been put forward”.

The Week In approached WHP Telecoms to see if they are now looking for another location. We also highlighted local concerns that the way the hole has been filled in has left a trip hazard. We have not as yet received a response.

The seven sites previously discounted

There were seven other local sites in nearby roads that were discounted by WHP Telecoms, with reasons given:

  • Park Road (proximity to residential properties and insufficient pavement width).
  • Park Crescent (insufficient pavement width).
  • Tower Road South (insufficient pavement width).
  • Coronation Road (insufficient pavement width and obstructing tree canopy).
  • Brereton Way (insufficient pavement width and proximity to residential properties).
  • Coronation Road (proximity to residential properties and insufficient pavement width).
  • Mill Lane (insufficient pavement width).

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