Response to Planning Application for Telecoms Mast on Grange Park

8 Southdown Road
Westbury on Trym
30 September 2022

Dear Mr Boxwell

Application 22/04214/Y: Land Adj To Grange Park, Eastfiled (sic) and Priority (sic) Avenue Grange Park Bristol BS9 4BE

The Society has considered this application and finds it very difficult to understand the justification for the location.

As we have said before, the Society is aware of many other mast proposals in the neighbourhood, but the random nature of the applications, which are all isolated applications with no strategic location strategy apparent, makes it difficult to understand whether the mobile phone companies are trying to minimise the number of new sites required, as they are required to do in accordance with para 115 of the NPPF.

The applicant quotes Paragraph 18 of the Code of Practice that site sharing and use of existing structures and masts should be undertaken wherever possible to reduce the need for new development, but there is no evidence of this, despite an over lengthy attempt to justify the need.

The applicant states that ‘The site is designated as being within the settlement boundary, with urban (industrial) uses to the north, east, south, and west. The site designation is not a material consideration.’

As with the recent application on Westbury Court Road, the applicant has failed to consider the site context. The site is not situated close to industrial uses as the statement implies, but is within a residential area containing a number of listed buildings. There are five such buildings close to the site. Most importantly 20 Eastfield Road, known as Eastfield Lodge is diagonally opposite the site and visible from it.

You will be well aware that the NPPF states that ‘in determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets’ importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance. As a minimum the relevant historic environment record should have been consulted and the heritage assets assessed using appropriate expertise where necessary.’

The impact of this alien structure on the setting of 20 Eastfield Road is in our view sufficient reason to refuse the application. However, it is more than that. The siting sits on the side of the road where it will be most prominent due to the small scale of the adjoining bungalows and landscaping. The clutter of cabinets on the street will add to the significant impact on the character and appearance of the area.

Accordingly the Society considers that the applicant has failed to achieve ‘a good balance between environmental impact and operational considerations. The proposed height and design represents the best compromise between the visual impact of the proposal on the surrounding area and meeting the operator’s technical requirements for the site.’

To conclude, the Society considers that the proposed telecoms development by Hutchinson in this location would be lead to substantial harm to the significance of the listed building at 20 Eastfield Road and would stand out as an alien feature in the heart of a residential area.

Yours sincerely
A C Renshaw MRTPI
On behalf of the Westbury on Trym Society