Planning inspector overrules council and allows go-ahead for a second phone mast in Cadbury Heath

Another mast is planned near the current one in Cadbury Heath

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal for a second 15-metre high phone mast outside the parade of shops in Cadbury Heath.

CK Hutchinson Networks (UK) Ltd appealed after South Gloucestershire Council rejected the proposed 5G mast near the junction of School Road and Newton Road.

The phone giant first tried to get an 18-metre high mast but that was refused last summer. Council planners said it would tower over nearby shops, which have residential properties above them, and harm the look of the area. They also said that the applicant had not supplied enough information to show there was no suitable alternative site for a mast.

CK Hutchison Networks then applied again after reducing the proposed height to 15 metres, to help it  “blend into the surrounding area”.

However, the council blocked that application too, again saying it would harm the area and that not enough information had been provided to show that no suitable alternative site was available.

The potential for anti-social behaviour was also flagged up by community leaders as there are already issues with young people sitting on top of the cabinets by the existing mast.

CK Hutchison Networks appealed to the Secretary of State and now planning inspector Martin Allen has given the go-ahead for the mast.

He ruled: “Given the separation between the proposed mast and the existing buildings in the area, together with the slender nature of the mast itself, the development would not result in unacceptable overbearing effects on nearby occupiers. Nor would it result in any unacceptable effect on the living conditions of occupiers by way of visual intrusion.

“I find that the proposed installation would not be incongruous at this location but would integrate acceptably with existing features of the area, would not be incompatible with the locality and would not result in unacceptable living conditions.”

He also dismissed concern over the potential for unsociable behaviour: “There is no substantive evidence to convince me that there would be any harm in this respect, particularly given the presence of other street furniture in the vicinity.”

The inspector noted that concerns has been raised about potential effects on health but that a certificate confirmed that the proposal has been designed to comply with the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

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