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16-metre tall 5G phone mast plan for Histon rejected by planning inspector

Plans for a 16-metre tall 5G mast in Histon have been blocked due to the “significant harm” it could cause to the character of the area.

A planning inspector upheld South Cambridgeshire District Council’s decision to refuse the plans, stating the mast would be “stark and incongruous”.

The proposed location for the 5G mast in Histon. Picture: Google Street View
The proposed location for the 5G mast in Histon. Picture: Google Street View

CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd sought permission to put up the 5G monopole alongside the pavement on the corner of Glebe Way and Mill Lane.

The council refused permission last year, citing its “excessive height”.

The authority said: “[The pole] would appeal uncharacteristically tall, visually bulky and out of scale and character with other street furniture, its immediate context, within the protected village amenity area, the local green space as well as the wider setting of the village.”

However, the company behind the plans argued any perceived impact was outweighed by the “considerable positive benefits brought to the economy and community by telecommunications” and appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

But an inspector has sided with the council, noting: “The proposal is required to improve digital wireless, mobile coverage, including 5G coverage within the area which includes Histon.

“Nonetheless, in the context the 16m high monopole would not visually integrate with the nearby street lighting due to its appreciably greater height and column width and more bulky and visibly distinct headframe design in relation to the supporting column.

“The proposal due to its siting and appearance would introduce a stark and incongruous feature within the street scene, which would be significantly harmful to the character and appearance of the area.”

The inspector gave “considerable weight” to the potential benefits of the 5G mast, but concluded this did not outweigh the “significant harm” the mast would cause, so dismissed the appeal.

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