Adam Boyden

Liberal Democrat councillor on Mendip District Council for Frome College ward Learn more

Grange Road mobile phone mast refused

by adamboyden on 14 July, 2017

A planning application (for ‘prior approval’) was submitted by Vodafone for a 15m high mobile phone mast and base station on the corner of Grange Road with Bath Road – comprising a 15m shrouded monopole with microwave dishes, equipment cabinets and ancilliary works (application ref. 2017/1163/TEL, see here and last month’s news). Two public meetings were arranged by Frome Town Councillor Nick White, for residents to comment on and discuss the plans. I attended the last one, when 70 residents came along. The plans were revised to remove the dishes and one of the cabinets. Over 100 comments were submitted by residents, and I and the county councillor also responded (see here; my comments are dated 1 and 28 June). I objected to the proposal as inappropriate in a residential area, and asked for the applicants to submit information to demonstrate the proposals meet public exposure guidelines and that relevant alternative sites have been assessed.

Update, 14th July: Mendip’s planning officers have refused the application, stating that “the development would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area by virtue of the height of the mast which would be a prominent alien feature which is out of keeping with the domestic scale of the surrounding area. It is considered the harm is not outweighed by the public benefit of improved telecommunications. The proposal is considered to be contrary to DP1 (local identity) and DP7 (design and amenity) of the Mendip District Local Plan 2006-2029 (Part 1 Strategies and Policies – adopted 15th December 2014) and the National Planning Policy Framework, with particular regard to paragraph 17, and chapter 5, and The Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development in England, 2013.”

Please see the officer report and decision notice here. The applicants will now need to find another site which does not harm the character and appearance of the area, or could possibly submit an appeal.

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