Company gets approval for phone mast despite resident and council objections - The Solihull Observer

Company gets approval for phone mast despite resident and council objections

Solihull Editorial 20th Sep, 2018   0

A MOBILE phone company has been given approval to install a mast by government officials despite resident and council objections.

Vodafone were granted permission to put up a 15metre mast and equipment cabinets on the grass verge outside The Lodge pub in Solihull by the planning inspectorate following an appeal.

Last December Solihull’s planning committee refused the application based on a policy within the Local Development Plan, which states any mast should be at a distance of at least twice its height from the nearest residential properties.

The committee had heard at the meeting if it decided to refuse the application it would contravene National Planning Framework policy (NPF), which states local authorities should not impose a ban on new telecommunications nor insist on minimum distances between new telecommunications development and existing development.

Campaigners have spoken about their fears over health to children in the area going to school or nursery; the mast being out of scale with the area and increase in noise levels.

Coun Tim Hodgson, deputy leader for Solihull green party and Shirley West councillor tweeted: “I’m shocked and saddened to learn that the unelected government planning inspector has approved the monstrous VodafoneUK 15metre phone mast at Yardley Wood Road Solihull Lodge – crazy place for a mast outside a pub near to houses, a school, nursery and care home.”

However in the report Andrew Owen, an inspector within the planning inspectorate department, said: “In relation to the concerns of objectors about the health implications of the mast, having particular regard to nearby housing, Peterbrook Primary School

and the nearby nursery, the installation would comply with the guidelines of the International Commission on Non Ionising Radiation Protection.

“The Framework confirms that in such circumstances it should not be necessary to consider further the health aspects.

“So, whilst I understand these fears, and I have treated local concerns as material considerations, none of the representations provide a sufficient basis to demonstrate that this proposal would be harmful to human health.”

Mr Owen concludes: “I consider the moderate harm the installation would cause to the character and appearance of the area is outweighed by the benefits of a high quality communications network facilitated by the proposed development on this site.”

A spokesperson from Vodafone said: “Vodafone and Telefonica identified that they need to improve the coverage to their customers in Solihull and proposed a base station in Yardley Wood Road, to provide network services including 4G coverage to Vodafone and Telefonica customers.

“The proposed site was refused by the Local Planning Authority.

“CTIL consider this site the best option locally and appealed this decision.

“The Planning Inspectorate considered the evidence and agreed that the site acceptable and as such allowed the appeal. “Vodafone and Telefonica customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel.

“Base stations are low powered devices which cover approximately half a mile in radius, therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers.


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