A new telecommunication mast in Ludford could help Lincolnshire ‘move into the 21st century’, after plans were granted approval last week.
The proposed mast, which is 19.1 metres tall, will be based in the Red House Farm Industrial Estate, and will provide enhanced 2G, 3G and 4G coverage in Ludford and the surrounding area.
The applicant, CTIL and Telefonica UK Ltd, will provide the enhanced coverage to O2 and Vodafone mobile users.
Planning approval was granted at East Lindsey District Council (ELDC)’s planning committee meeting last Thursday.
Ryan Ward, from the agent Waldon Telecom Ltd, told councillors that the mast coverage ‘probably won’t quite get as far as Market Rasen’, but added that a similar proposal is in the pipeline for Binbrook and that the two masts combined would be able to cover ‘quite some considerable distance’.
The application had been called in to the planning committee due to objections received by local residents and Ludford Parish Council, with particular concerns regarding the visual impact of the mast.
However, planning officer Lindsey Stuart explained in the meeting that the view of the mast would be partially obscured by existing trees.
Referring to design plans, Ms Stuart said that the mast would be ‘just poking up above the top of the trees’.
The other main objection suggested that the applicants could share an existing Northern Power Grid (NPG) mast nearby, although Mr Ward explained that this would not be possible as CTIL have not been able to renew a ‘commercially viable contract’ with NPG for the past three years, despite negotiation.
Planning committee members responded positively to the proposal, with Coun Stuart Watson saying: “This will help Lincolnshire move into the 21st century and help coverage.”
Coun Daniel McNally suggested that many villages would ‘desperately die’ for a phone mast to provide better coverage, and added that it’s on the industrial estate and ‘well covered’ by trees.
Coun Dick Edgington suggested it was particularly important to have enhanced mobile phone coverage in the local rural area, in light of BT’s recent proposal to remove almost 100 pay phone kiosks across East Lindsey.