Controversial 16-metre high phone mast is approved

Where the mast will go

A 16-metre 5G phone mast can be installed on Long Beach Road in Longwell Green, even though South Gloucestershire Council officers don’t consider it is the best location.

Phone giant Three applied for prior approval to erect the mast – with six antenna and three equipment cabinets – on the verge next to Willsbridge Mill car park. Three said the selected site was the most “viable and suitable location”.

The council received close to 90 objections and 19 in support of the application.

In considering the proposal, council officers said the mast will be taller than nearby street lights, but its slender design will not be “unduly incongruous” and being fir green in colour will help to reduce its perceptibility against the backdrop of mature trees.

They said that with the roll-out of increased telecommunications infrastructure, including services such as 5G, equipment such as masts as their ancillary equipment are more likely to form part of the surrounding environment going forward.

Several suggestions were made by local people for alternative locations, including Willsbridge Mill car park which is owned by the council. Officers agreed that locating the mast within the car park would be” in some respects better than what is currently proposed as there would be some greater screening”.

However, they said that the council is duty bound to consider what has been submitted and is not able to dictate that another site must be used if the current site and proposals are acceptable.

In reaching their decision they said that whilst the mast will be visible from some nearby homes, it will not result in any unacceptable impacts and it is not considered that the equipment will “interfere” with either the road or pavement.