2007/685 WIDNEY LANE ROUNDABOUT HILLFIELD

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					2007/685 WIDNEY LANE ROUNDABOUT HILLFIELD
Application No:  2007/685

Ward/Area:            St ALPHEGE

Location:             WIDNEY LANE ROUNDABOUT ADJACENT TO 10 BUSHLEY
                      CROFT HILLFIELD SOLIHULL

Date Registered:      30/03/2007

Applicant:            T-MOBILE LTD

Proposal:             TELECOMMUNICATIONS. PROPOSED 12m STREETWORKS
                      MONOPOLE SUPPORTING 3 No. ANTENNA HOUSED WITHIN
                      A GRP SHROUD AND 2 GROUND BASED EQUIPMENT
                      CABINETS


PROPOSAL

The installation of telecommunications apparatus is provided for under Part 24
of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country (General Permitted Development)
Order 1995, subject to conditions set out in paragraph A.3. Amongst other
criteria, paragraph A.3 requires a telecommunication operator to apply to the
Local Planning Authority for a determination as to whether the prior approval
of the authority will be required for the ‘siting and appearance’ of the
development.

This proposal seeks prior approval for a 12 metre streetworks monopole
supporting 3 No. antenna housed within a GRP shroud, together with 2
ground based equipment cabinet and ancillary development. The antennae
will be concealed within a cylindrical shroud located to the upper section of
the monopole. One of the ground based equipment cabinets measures
1.350m wide, 0.6m deep and 1.35m high whilst the other measures 1.5m
wide, 0.910m deep and 1.6m high. Both equipment cabinets will be painted fir
green. The monopole would be painted to match the adjacent dark green
lamp post.

CONSULTATION RESPONSES

Highway Engineers                      : Objection

Site Notice                            : 18/04/07

Neighbours Notified                    : 02/04/07

REPRESENTATIONS

44 letters of representation, a summary of which is given below;


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   Concerns regarding health; damage to, risks and vulnerability of certain
    age groups
   Detrimental impact on the streetscene and the surrounding residential
    area
   Out of character with the area and streetscene
   Close proximity to residential property
   An alternative and less obtrusive site should be found
   There is already adequate reception for T-Mobile phones in the area
   Inappropriate site
   Siting at busy road junction; any maintenance work required would
    necessitate the parking of vehicles and service equipment on an extremely
    busy road
   Proposal not in accordance with UDP Policy ENV9
   Possibility of sharing an existing mast has not been explored
   Pre-application discussion with residents has not been undertaken
   Proposed structure could become target for graffiti or fly posting
   Damages the right for residents to enjoy living in their own home

POLICY

RPG11 – Regional Planning Guidance for the West Midlands (2004)

QE3 ‘Creating a high quality environment for all’


Solihull UDP (2006)

ENV2 ‘Urban Design’
ENV9 ‘Telecommunications’
T1 ‘An integrated and sustainable transport stratgey’

Government Guidance

PPS1 ‘Delivering Sustainable Development’ (2005)
PPG8 ‘Telecommunications’
PPG13 ‘Highways’

PLANNING HISTORY

No planning history in relation to the application site. However, two prior
notifications within the vicinity;

Site: Land adjacent to the Fieldhouse public house/corner of Monkspath Hall
Road and Kightscote Drive
2005/2477 (Withdrawn) Telecommunications: installation comprising a 12m
high mock streetlight column incorporating 3 cross polar antenna, together
with ground based equipment cabinets and ancillary development.

Site: Junction of Monkspath Hall Road/Widney Lane (north side)


                                                                        Page 2
2006/781 (Refusal) Telecommunication prior notification for 12.5 metre
streetworks monopole with equipment cabinets.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The proposed monopole and equipment cabinets would be located on a grass
verge, which is on the south side of Widney Lane and immediately adjacent to
the Monkspath Hall Road roundabout. A pedestrian walkway and cycle path
run to the rear of the grass verge with further grassed strip beyond. Adjacent
to the grass strip is a close board fence with parallel line of trees which also
form the side boundaries of 10 and 15 Bushley Croft. The grass verge upon
which the monopole and equipment cabinets would be located is notable for
its Oak tree, which although not protected by a Tree Preservation Order lies
on Council maintained land. There are a number of items of street furniture,
including a bus shelter within the immediate vicinity of the application site.

The area is predominantly residential and comprises of modern two storey
detached houses. The Fieldhouse public house is situated on the opposite
side of Monkspath Hall Road going in the south west direction away from the
site.

MAIN ISSUES

   Policy considerations
   Health
   Neighbour amenity
   Streetscene
   Trees
   Highways

APPRAISAL

Policy

PPG8 ‘Telecommunications’ aims to facilitate the growth of new and existing
telecommunications systems whilst ensuring that telecommunication
equipment has the least visual intrusion to its surroundings. To prevent the
proliferation of masts and equipment, PPG8 advocates the sharing of masts
and sites to ensure the optimum environmental solution is found. PPG8
continues that use should be made of existing buildings and other structures
before free-standing structures are proposed. Where free-standing structures
are required, operators should use sympathetic design and camouflage to
minimise the impact of development on the environment.

PPG8 advocates that the operator should undertake an assessment of need,
which should support any application to the local planning authority. The
supporting evidence submitted with the application states that the site is
required to provide a high level of 2G and 3G network coverage and a high
grade of service to the Hillfield East area. The applicant states that the local
area of Hillfield East is not adequately covered to commercial and residential


                                                                       Page 3
indoor signal levels; the proposed site would provide the levels required. A
sequential approach towards site selection was undertaken with all existing
masts being investigated for the possibility of site sharing. The applicant’s
submission includes details of the site selection process, in order to
demonstrate that the applicant considered a number of alternative sites.

Policy ENV9 of the adopted UDP (2006) seeks to reiterate policy
considerations advocated by PPG8. Policy ENV9 seeks to resist
telecommunication equipment that is located in or adjacent to sensitive
locations, which may include residential areas, education and health
institutions, listed buildings, conservation areas, archaeological sites, sites of
ecological and geological importance, historic parks and gardens, public open
space and Green Belt. In such areas, Policy ENV9 stipulates that
development will only be permitted if there is no other technically suitable
location that both meets operational requirements and causes less
environmental harm, and any mast is at a distance of at least twice its height
from the nearest residential property. The submitted drawings would indicate
that the siting of the proposed monopole in relation to the nearest residential
property at 10 Bushley Croft is 25 metres away; this is as measured from the
monopole to the corner of the house.

Health issues

The proposal is in compliance with the International Commination on Non-
Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines for public exposure. An
ICNIRP compliance certificate was submitted with the application. PPG8
states that if a proposed mobile phone base station meets the ICNIRP
guidelines for public exposure it should not be necessary for a local planning
authority to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.

Neighbour amenity

The nearest residential property at 10 Bushley Croft is located 25 metres from
the proposed position of the monopole and would accord with UDP Policy as
set out in ENV9 regarding distances between mast and nearest residential
property.

Although there is a line of trees that runs along the side boundary of numbers
10 and 15 Bushley Croft and provides some screening of the proposal, the
upper section of the monopole will be visible above the crown of the trees.
The form of the monopole is such that although visible is unlikely to have a
significant impact on outlook.

Streetscene and trees

The proposed 12m high monopole with shrouded antennas and equipment
cabinets would be situated on a grass verge and located immediately
adjacent to the Monkspath Hall roundabout. The monopole and associated
equipment would be set a distance of some 12 metres from a line of trees.
Although the monopole may be viewed from some directions against a


                                                                         Page 4
backdrop of trees the height of the proposed monopole is such that it will
extend above the tree line and the adjacent Oak tree. The distance between
the proposal and the trees is such that it will not merge into the landscape. At
a height of 9m the adjacent lamp post does bear some relation to the
monopole but it would still exceed it in height. Other street furniture in the area
such as the bus stop and road signs is on a much smaller scale when
compared with the height of the proposed monopole. The height of one of the
equipment cabinets at 1.6m is also considered to add to the obtrusive nature
of this proposal. The close proximity of the proposed monopole and
equipment cabinets to the main carriageway would increase their prominence
and introduce an incongrous feature in the streetscene. The monopole and
equipment cabinets combined would appear as visual clutter which would be
to the detriment of the area as a whole.

The proposed monopole and equipment cabinets would be located outside of
the canopy of an adjacent Oak tree. Your Landscape Architect has
commented that the position of the pole and associated equipment would not
adversely affect the tree; underground services are not shown but trenches
for cable supply should be located 1 metre away from the canopy spread to
avoid damage to roots.

In conclusion, it is considered that the proposal would introduce an obtrusive
and unduly prominent feature within the streetscene and add to the visual
clutter of the area. The proposal would be contrary to Policy ENV2 of the
adopted UDP and the aims and objectives of PPS1 and PPG8.

Highways

The proposed monopole and equipment cabinets would be located on a grass
verge, which is on the southeast side of Widney Lane and immediately
adjacent to the Monkspath Hall Road roundabout.

Your Highways Engineer has raised an objection to the proposal, commenting
that the proposal raises serious highway safety concerns with regards to the
parking of initial construction traffic on the roundabout junction, as well as
future maintenance vehicles. Your Highways Engineer recommends the
application be refused on highway safety grounds.

CONCLUSION

The proposed telecommunications monopole and equipment cabinets are
considered to raise serious highway safety concerns. In addition the proposal
would create an obtrusive and unduly prominent feature within the
streetscene and add to the visual clutter of the area. For these reasons the
proposal does not conform to Policies ENV2, ENV9 and T1 of the adopted
UDP (2006) and the aims and objectives of PPS1, PPG8 and PPG13.

RECOMMENDATION




                                                                         Page 5
For the reasons outlined above I recommend Refusal.


            (1) The proposed 12m monopole together with ground based equipment
            would create an obtrusive and unduly prominent feature within the
            streetscene and add to the visual clutter of the area. The proposal is
            therefore contrary to the Solihull UDP (2006) Policies ENV2 Urban Design
            and ENV9 Telecommunications and the aims and objectives of PPS1
            Delivering Sustainable Development and PPG8 Telecommunications.
            (2) The proposed 12m monopole together with ground based equipment
            would be in such a location that safe access for construction and
            maintenance would not be possible. The proposal is not in the interests of
            highway safety and is therefore contrary to the Solihull UDP (2006) Policy T1
            An integrated and sustainable transport strategy and PPG13 Transport.
            NOTE: For the avoidance of doubt this decision refers to the plans as follows:
            Plan Number(s): 52523-001 RevB, 52523-002 RevB, 52523-003 RevB &
            52523-004 RevB.




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