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18-metre 5G phone mast for Cambridge approved after planning appeal





An 18-metre 5G mast can be built in Cambridge, a planning inspector has ruled, despite concerns about its height and potential impact on road safety.

Cambridge City Council had refused permission for the 5G mast for the grass verge in Cherry Hinton Road in Petersfield. It had multiple concerns, including concerns about maintenance work.

The site in Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge, where a 5G mast will be put up. Picture: Google
The site in Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge, where a 5G mast will be put up. Picture: Google

The council said: “There is no convenient parking location for any servicing vehicle leading to a high potential that such a vehicle will park within the adopted public highway to the detriment of highway safety.

“This obstruction would pose a threat to highway safety and have an unacceptable impact on the safe functioning of the highway.”

The council also argued the 18m mast would be “uncharacteristically tall” for the area.

A planning officer report said: “Whilst supporting the expansion of telecommunications networks is acknowledged, it is considered that the proposal by reason of its height, form and location would result in a significant visual harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

“It is considered that the benefit of improving the communication network does not outweigh the harm.”

However, applicant CK Hutchison Networks (UK) appealed and a planning inspector disagreed with the council’s decision, despite acknowledging that a maintenance van parking on the road would cause a disturbance, particularly to cyclists.

However, the inspector noted the double yellow lines would “discourage” a maintenance van from stopping there and was satisfied there were off-street parking options nearby.

The inspector said the number of maintenance visits would be “extremely limited”, meaning only “infrequent and short-term interruptions to the free flow of traffic”.

The inspector did not agree with the council’s assessment of the mast’s visual impact, noting: “The proposed mast would be seen in the context of a range of existing street furniture, within constrained views.

“Therefore, whilst the mast would be taller than existing street furniture, its visual impact would result in limited visual harm.

“As a result the site’s setting would enable the most to integrate well with the local pattern of street furniture and built development.

“The proposals would not significantly contribute to street clutter being located within a gap of existing features and would be beyond the footway, where it would not impede pedestrian flow.

“The mast would be slim, and its antennas would be fitted close to the pole, which would minimise its overall bulk.

“As such, the mast has been sympathetically designed to integrate will with its surroundings.”



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