Phone mast fine for one side of Spalding?

Plans for a 5G phone mast in one part of Spalding are likely to be refused, while a similar scheme for a different part of the town is set to be accepted.

Siting a proposed 20m mast in the Spalding Wygate ward has been recommended for rejection. But a similar mast in the Spalding St Paul’s area has the thumbs-up.

Both applications, on different sides of the town, attracted a raft of opposition and South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes is against both sites.

A report to the district council’s planning committee summarises his opposition and says there has been no consultation with local residents and adds that both applications would be a blight on the landscape.

An industrial site would be a better location and the masts are ‘an incongruous structure,’ says the report going before the committee next Wednesday.

Vice chair of the district’s planning committee Coun Roger Gambba-Jones is among the objectors to the application for the site at the junction of Claudette Avenue, the street adjacent to his home on Wygate Park.

Coun Angela Newton also objects as does Coun Christine Lawton and there were 47 public objections on the grounds the 20m high mast is to obstructive to the local landscape.

Coun Gambba-Jones told The Voice he felt there was a good case for refusal but would not be voting on the decision when it comes before the committee.

He said he’d “not looked in detail” at the St Paul’s application.

The application is classed as a ‘permitted development’ under planning law as it is not higher than 20m. The only matters which can be considered are siting and appearance.

“The proposed monopole, at 20 metres in height, would be readily visible in the street scene and the scale is not comparable to any other structure or building in the vicinity.

“Whilst it is accepted that there is other street furniture in the vicinity, it is considered that the proposed mast and associated cabinets would have a material adverse impact on the wide street scene due to them being unduly dominant, obtrusive and alien feature,” says the report.

As a result, members of the committee are being recommended to refuse the application.

But a similar application for an 18m mast at Birch Grove by the same company has been met with approval – despite objections including from Sir John.

Fears over the mast dominating the skyline and hitting the visual aspect of the Coronation Channel have been reported.

An ‘acceptable’ attempt has been made to minimise the impact of the mast within the street scene, according to the documents going before the committee.

“Officers are of the view that the proposal would not result in a material adverse impact on the character, appearance and visual amenity of the surrounding area.”

Objectors to both proposals had also cited fears over public health surrounding 5G phone masts. But the district council can only look at the appearance and siting of masts as part of the planning process.
Lincolnshire County Highways had not objected to either application.

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