Sheffield residents’ anger over historic mobile site plan

Abby and David Beckett-Smith in the garden on their Hackenthorpe home with the chimney, which is being used as a mobile phone mast, behind them,
Abby and David Beckett-Smith in the garden on their Hackenthorpe home with the chimney, which is being used as a mobile phone mast, behind them,
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RESIDENTS living in a historic Sheffield neighbourhood have criticised a decision to allow mobile phone antennae and equipment to be upgraded on a 200-year-old industrial chimney.

Sheffield Council has granted planning permission for the project at Staniforth Works, Main Street, Hackenthorpe, where the antennae are attached to the top of the 11-metre structure.

Proposals involve replacing the three existing main antennae, painted to the same colour as the brickwork, with new ones of identical size.

Six smaller ancilliary antennae would be replaced with three of the same size and a new ground-based equipment cabinet would be installed.

Abby and David Beckett, who live at Greenside, a neighbouring 17th Century Grade II listed house, objected to the application, supported by Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts.

Mrs Beckett-Smith, who campaigned with her husband against installation of the original antennae, said: “The chimney is a protected structure within the Hackenthorpe Conservation Area.

“Why wasn’t a more suitable site found for this equipment rather than putting it on the oldest red brick structure in Hackenthorpe.”

Although only four objections were made, she said that Sheffield Council’s consultation was ‘misleading’ because an incorrect address was put on information distributed in the suburb.

Mrs Beckett-Smith believes more people would have commented had they been aware.

Mr Betts called the antennae ‘intrusive visual development’.

But Sheffield Council said that the new antennae were smaller than those being replaced and ‘well-screened’.