Phone mast go-ahead after decision overturned

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AN APPEAL has overturned a decision to refuse planning permission for a mobile phone mast in a leafy Sheffield suburb.

The plans involve a 40 feet-high structure on Redmires Road, Lodge Moor, near the junction with Worcester Road, to be used by the O2 and Vodafone networks.

Sheffield Council’s west and north planning board had rejected the scheme on the grounds of it being out of character and appearance with the surrounding area.

But a Government planning inspector who considered an appeal against the decision ruled in favour of the mobile phone companies.

A report back to Sheffield Council said: “The main issue addressed by the inspector was the effect of the siting and appearance on the character of the area.

“The inspector was of the opinion that the mast, due to landform and screening around the area, would not be unduly prominent both from the built-up area and from the green belt.

“Alternative sites had been investigated but were not as suitable as the appeal site. The site is to be a shared site, so the mast will be taller and bulkier than if used by a single operator. However, this is considered a better option than having to find a second site in the area to locate an additional mast, were this to be for a single operator.”

The report added that health fears raised by nearby residents had been considered by the planning inspector but discounted because the planning application had been submitted with a certificate from the Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection organisation to ‘prove the safety’ of the mast.

The report concluded: “Absence of alternative sites and ability to meet an identified need add weight to the lack of harm found and so the investigator allowed the appeal.”

n O2 and Vodafone are sharing masts to reduce their environmental impact.