Adam Boyden

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

Grange Road mobile phone mast – Vodafone launch appeal

by adamboyden on 2 December, 2017

Mendip District Council’s planning team has informed me that Vodafone Ltd has submitted an appeal against the Council’s refusal of prior approval of permitted development for the installation of a 15m replica telegraph pole and 2no. equipment cabinets at land off Grange Road/ Bath Road (MDC ref. 2017/1163/TEL).
“The appeal reference number is APP/Q3305/W/17/3185165. The appeal will be decided on the basis of an exchange of written statements by the parties and a site visit by an Inspector. Any comments already made following the original application will be forwarded to the Department and copied to the appellant and will be taken into account by the Inspector in deciding the appeal. If you wish to make comments, or modify/withdraw your previous representation, you can do so online at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk . If you do not have access to the internet, you can send your comments to: The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/19a Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN quoting the appeal reference number. The Planning Inspectorate will not acknowledge your letter. They will, however, ensure that your letter is passed on to the Inspector dealing with the appeal. Please ensure that any representations you wish to make on this appeal are received by the Planning Inspectorate by 4th January 2018 otherwise there is a risk that they will not be seen by the Inspector and they will be returned. A guide to taking part in appeals is available via the Planning Inspectorate website (www.gov.uk/government/organisations/planning-inspectorate).”
Everyone’s previous responses to the original application will be forwarded to the Inspector, but residents wanting to respond to the appeal should write in again. A direct link to the specific appeal’s webpage is here – https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?CaseID=3185165&CoID=0 – and there is a button ‘Make representation’ to click onto, which you will need to fill in your details into in order to add your comments to.  I will be making a representation and would encourage others to do so. The deadline, for responses to be received, is 4th January.
There is atleast one alternative site potentially available, so Grange Road is not the only possible site (as Vodafone imply in their statements here) as I understand Frome Town Football Club have been approached as a potential site for the mast. Other sites have been considered and rejected by landowners.

Information on the original application, local residents’ campaign, and Mendip District Council’s decision to refuse the application, can be found here.  I objected to the proposal as inappropriate in a residential area. 108 objections, and 2 letters of support (in order to improve mobile reception in the area) were received. Mendip DC 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…”

Update 2nd March 2018: Appeal dismissed:A Planning Inspector has dismissed Vodafone’s appeal against Mendip District Council’s refusal of permission to construct a mobile phone mast at the corner of Grange Road and Bath Road, due to the impact on the character and appearance of the area, and because ‘suitable alternative means of providing coverage have not been fully explored and that there remains a possibility that the use of alternative, less harmful locations may merit further discussion’. Vodafone will now need to explore alternative sites. Please see here for the decision webpages to download the Inspector’s report.

   2 Comments

2 Responses

  1. Gill williams says:

    Hi after reading about an appeal by vodaphone , surely out on the one of the trading estates would be more in keeping not by a housing estate , this monstrosity would be a real eyesore and not very pretty for visitors just entering our lovely town .

  2. Joy says:

    We are long overdue and desperately need a Vodafone mast in the area.
    I understand people not wanting the mast on their doorstep. It would be great to see people helping to find a location for the mast instead of just fighting against what is needed by the community. If an alternative suitable location is found for the mast then it will not be placed on Grange Road, and solves the problem for all.

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