Date set for inquiry into council decision to refuse 5G mast – best today news


CK Hutchison Networks submitted an application to build the ‘slim line’ mast in Barton Lane, Headington, in May last year. 

A design and access statement for the application stated that the mast would ‘assimilate well into the immediate street scene and not be detrimental’.

This is because the height of the proposed pole is the minimum required to bring 5G to the area.

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5G is the planned successor to 4G networks which currently provides connection to most mobile phones.

The application was refused by Oxford City Council on July 4.

The reasons for refusal were given as follows:

“Great weight and importance have been given to the desirability of preserving the Old Headington Conservation Area and the setting of Grade II listed building Barn of Mathers Farm as designated heritage assets.

“The siting and appearance of the proposed mast and equipment cabinets would be inappropriate having regard to their size and bulk and the height.”

It went on to state that the mast would affect a conservation area and the setting of a listed building which would not outweigh the public benefit of the mast. 

“The proposed mast by virtue of its height, width, and form would introduce an incongruous element in a highly prominent location at Barton Lane, which would significantly exceed the height of the nearby hedges, trees, buildings and structures,” the objection continued.

“Its siting and appearance would be unacceptably prominent and a visually jarring addition that would have a detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the street scene, which is particularly open in this location due to the open fields and undeveloped land surrounding the site as well as the elevated position of the site.”

The inquiry date has been set for the week commencing May 23.

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In their appeal CK Hutchison Networks has claimed that the city council did not fully consider efforts to strike a balance between the benefits of 5G and environmental considerations.

An appeal statement reads: “In refusing the application, it is our opinion the local planning authority has not fully considered the significant efforts made by CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd to ensure the subject site and proposed design solution strikes an appropriate balance between operational requirements and the significant improvements enhanced 5G bring.

“The area subject to this application is located within a conservation area and every effort has been made to assimilate our proposed development with its surroundings.

“We therefore do not accept the premise that the proposed new street work pole will have a significantly detrimental impact upon the street scene here.”

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