Concerns over plans for 'unsightly' 12-metre telecoms pole in Wrexham

Reporter:

Steve Craddock

CONCERNS have been raised over plans for an ‘unsightly’ telecommunications pole.

A planning application by EE Ltd for prior notification of a proposed development was received by Wrexham Council last month in respect of a proposed 12 metre telegraph style pole on a footpath near the junction of Plas Gwyn, Borras Road, Wrexham.

The development would also entail the installation of ground based equipment cabinets and cabling on the northbound public footpath.

A report to the council’s planning committee, which will meet on Tuesday, recommends prior approval for the plans be given but Paul Jones, ward councillor for Maesydre, has raised several concerns.

In a consultation response included in the report he stated: “The proposed location is within close proximity to a concentration of shops, homes, public house and a secondary school and I am concerned about emissions from the mast causing ill health to the people, and in particular children, who live in the area.

“I am concerned the residents are unaware of the potential impact upon their health and environment. I would like reassurance residents have been properly consulted regarding the application. There should be no ‘rushing through’ of the application without proper consultation.

“Additionally, the outlook of residents will be compromised by the visual impact of an unsightly 12 metre mast, shrouded antennas and accompanying equipment.

“I would like to know why this particular site has been selected and which other sites have
been considered.”

According to the report, the occupiers of 20 nearby properties were notified of the proposal but no objections have been put forward.

The report explains: “The mast is required to provide continued coverage to the area once an existing installation located on top of the police headquarters building is removed in preparation for the demolition of that building.

“The submitted details confirm that 13 alternative sites have been considered and discounted on the grounds there were no shareable structures, the sites would not provide the required coverage or a taller and therefore more visually intrusive mast would be required.

“I am satisfied that sufficient consideration of possible alternative sites has been given and that no reasonable alternative to the proposed site currently exists.”

Regarding the concerns over the impact on health, the report adds: “It is a statutory requirement that applications for prior approval or planning permission for the type of telecommunications development proposed need to be accompanied with a declaration that the equipment will operate in full compliance with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines.

“Where transmissions from a proposed base station meet the ICNRP guidelines it is unnecessary for a local planning authority to consider further the health aspects and give significant weight to concerns about them when processing a planning or prior approval application. The application documents include such a declaration of conformity with ICNIRP public exposure guidelines.”

On the subject of the development’s appearance, the report states: “Whilst the proposed mast will be higher than existing structures in the vicinity, I do not consider that it will be unduly prominent or harmful.

“The proposed design will also help integrate the structure into the street scene.”

Email:

steve.craddock@nwn.co.uk

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