Phone mast - It will make eyesore worse

The Red House Farm Industrial Estate. The proposed mast will be built behind the tall trees on the left hand side.
The Red House Farm Industrial Estate. The proposed mast will be built behind the tall trees on the left hand side.

I write regarding plans for a new mobile phone mast in Ludford.

People who both live and work in close proximity to this site understand the importance of having this technology, but we do have concerns.

Although the Government claims there is no proof yet that living and working so close to these masts causes serious health issues, there is plenty of documented evidence to contradict this.

As stated, Ludford already has had a mast dominating the skyline since the 1980s. We do not need another one.

Rather than having a new mast, why can’t the new technology form part of the existing structure.

We contacted the owner, Northern Power Grid, which stated it would gladly have it on its mast.

The National Planning Policy Framework promotes and encourages sharing masts.

The applicant states that it is “unable to renew a commercially viable contract”.

It seems the planning committee feels that the financial cost to a multi-national company outweighs the worries and concerns of the residents, who they are supposed to represent, in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty.

The trees are old and if the ground works do not kill some of them, they will soon offer very little cover at all.

Once this new mast is put up, will there be another application to increase its height?

Will other companies be invited to install their technology on to it?

This may well increase revenue for the land or mast owners, but it will come at a cost by making an existing eyesore worse.

Will more masts be appearing on this site in the future? The committee gave no mention, consideration or planning condition to these concerns raised by residents.

In fact, despite all the concerns raised by residents, the only two planning conditions attached to this application are that work must start within three years and the mast must dismantled within three months when no longer in use.

The public perception of these masts is not good. Residents are concerned about the possibility of the depreciation in value and desirability of their properties.

What would committee members and the landowner be do if this were on their doorsteps?

Martin Cordwell

by email