Council faces appeal over 5G mast plan
An appeal has been launched against a council planning decision not to allow a 17m high 5G mast to be installed at a junction.
Earlier this year Wrexham Council turned down an application from network operator Three, part of CK Hutchison, for a telecommunications pole and cabinets earmarked for the corner of Percy Road and Stockwell Grove in Hightown.
Residents had shared a number of concerns, leading to public meetings being organised in the last few weeks by ward councillors, Hermitage Cllr Graham Rogers (Lab) and Erddig Cllr Paul Roberts (Con).
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after it was turned down, Cllr Graham Rogers said he welcomed the delegated decision made by council planning officers on the grounds it would have a detrimental visual impact.
“It was a sore topic for many weeks with a lot of people in the Percy Road and Stockwell Grove area”, Cllr Rogers said.
But an appeal has been lodged with the Welsh Government’s planning inspectorate.
In a statement appealing the decision, a planner for Dot Surveying Ltd on behalf of CK Hutchison said the company felt certain design points had not been taken into account.
It says: “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 and the environmental considerations of all relevant National and Local Planning Policy, including National Planning Policy Framework and the adopted Local Plan.
“The area subject to this application is not located within a conservation area or subject to any other such constraints and 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. Please note that at 17m this is the lowest mast required for the improved 5G service need identified in the area.
“We do not consider that the decision issued by the local planning authority; Wrexham County Borough Council took sufficient or due weight to the importance placed on enhanced and improved telecommunications infrastructure within Wrexham Unitary Development Plan, nor the National Planning Policy Framework.”
It adds: “While CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd appreciates there may be a degree of visual impact from the erection of a new ground-based installation, the proposed installation has been carefully positioned to help with assimilation.
“The installation itself (pole and cabinets) are designed to be deployed upon pavements and verges in such urban locations.
“In terms of the discreet location and nature of the scheme proposed, it is considered the apparatus will blend into the existing street scene and the overall scheme represents an appropriate balance between visual impact and operational requirements.
“The mast is, at 17m, at the absolute minimum height which can be deployed to bring the benefits of 5G.”
A Three spokesperson said: “5G rollout is vital for residents and businesses of Wrexham.
“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they do need to be situated near to where people will be using the service and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.
“After carrying out extensive searches and evaluating a wide range of options, we determined that this was the best location to deliver the new site that is required to offer a great network experience for the local area.
“We look forward to receiving the Planning Authority’s decision and hope to be able to roll out the UK’s fastest 5G network to the local community.”
Wrexham Council does not comment on live planning applications or appeals. The planning inspectorate will make a decision on the appeal in due course.
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