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					                                                                  Broads Authority
                                                                  Planning Committee
                                                                  27 April 2007

Application for Determination

District       South Norfolk

Reference      20070454                                   Expires 26 April 2007

Parish         Ditchingham

Location       Maltings Meadow Sports Ground, Pirnhow Street

Proposal       Replacement of floodlighting tower which has a planning approval with
               a new 15m high monopole, equipment cabinets and associated
               development

Applicant      T - Mobile


Description of Site and Proposal

The application site is located in Ditchingham to the south of Pirnhow Street. The
surrounding area is characterised by sporadic clusters of buildings that are primarily
residential set in open grazing land. The nearest residential properties are
approximately 260m from the site.

Maltings Meadow itself is a large expanse of open space that is used for recreational
purposes (football, cricket etc) in conjunction with the Bungay and District Sports
Association. The application site is located to the southeast corner of Maltings
Meadow at the corner of the first team football pitch. An existing 2m hedge runs
along the southern boundary of the site. To the north-northeast of the site are a
number of sheds/storage buildings and a sewage treatment plant located within a
chain link fence.

The proposal is for the erection of a 15m high monopole telecommunications mast
and equipment cabins surrounded by a 2.4m high fence consisting of a 1.8m chain
link fence and 3 strands of barbed wire. The monopole would double up as one of
the eight floodlighting poles approved under application 07/01/1702, full details of
which are given below.

Site History

07/01/1702      –    Installation of floodlights to the first team football pitch on 12m
                     poles. This application was for the erection of eight 12m
                     floodlights around the first team football pitch which is located to
                     the south of the Bungay and District Sports Pavilion. The
                     application was subsequently approved on 20 January 2004
                     subject to conditions including the restriction of the use of the


MB/JM/nndcrpt/pc20070454/Page 1 of 6/190407
                      lights to the months of September to March inclusive and the
                      hours of 18:30 until 21:30 Monday to Friday and 15:00 until 17:00
                      on Saturdays. The permission is still active however to date it has
                      not been implemented.

Consultations

(i)     Ditchingham Parish Council – Object and comment “This site is not suitable,
        many residents do not want it. It could also jeopardise the progress of the
        proposed old Maltings development”.

(ii)    Environmental Services – No Response.

(iii) Waveney Valley Internal Drainage Board – No Response.

(iv) Broads Society – No Objection.

Representations

6 letters of objection have been received from nearby residents on the following
grounds:

      visual Impact;
      Health and Safety (particularly on a field where sporting and children‟s activities
       take place);
      effect of lighting;
      effect on proposed new buildings dwellings at the Maltings complex.

1 neighbour consultation reply making no comment.

Policies

Planning Policy Statement 1 – Delivering Sustainable Development
http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1143804

Planning Policy Guidance 8 – Telecommunications
http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1143962

Norfolk Structure Plan adopted October 1999

Policy ENV12 – The Norfolk Broads
A high standard of design for all new development will be required reflecting, where
appropriate, local styles, character and materials.

Policy ENV14 – The Norfolk Broads
Sets out an overall strategy for the Broads which includes conservation of the
landscape, waterways and wildlife, protection and enhancement of the built
environment, development of tourist and recreational facilities and consideration of
the social and economic well being of the area.



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Broads Local Plan adopted May 1997

INF14 – Telecommunications
Proposals for telecommunication development which are essential for technical and
operational reasons will be permitted where there is no significant adverse effect on
the natural beauty of the Broads landscape, its wildlife habitats, waterways or built
environment.

The Authority will expect existing masts and other structures to be used wherever
possible. Approval may be subject to the removal of the equipment when no longer
required.

B11 – Design
Development will only be permitted if its scale, form, design, external materials and
colour would be appropriate to its setting. New development in the built environment
should respect the character and townscape of the area. New development in the
countryside should be appropriately located so as to minimise its visual intrusion in
the landscape.

Assessment

The main policy for the assessment of telecommunication development within the
Broads is policy INF14 of the adopted Broads Local Plan. This allows for
telecommunication development where it is essential for technical and operational
reasons and subject to other considerations such affect on landscape, wildlife
waterways and the built environment.

Need

In terms of the necessity for the mast, PPG8 (Telecommunications-actions) sets out
that the significance of the proposed development as part of a national
telecommunications network is a material planning consideration, however it also
states that „Authorities should not seek to prevent competition between different
operators and should not question the need for the telecommunications systems
which the proposed development is to support’.

The supporting information supplied with the application details that T-Mobile‟s 3G
licence under the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the Electronic Communications
Code (Conditions and Restrictions) Regulations 2003 requires them to construct a
network covering 80% of the population by 2007, and that it is against these criteria
that this application is required. The proposed development therefore seeks to
improve and increase the third generation coverage within the Ditchingham and
Bungay area which is currently poor.

The agents have conducted pre-application consultations and discussions with
various parties and have identified a number of alternative sites within and around
the Ditchingham area, all of which have been discounted for various reasons.




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Health Implications

In terms of the proposals implications on health, PPG8 details that whilst health
considerations can in principle be material considerations in determining applications
for planning permission, subject to a mobile phone base station meeting ICNIRP
guidelines for public exposure, it should not be necessary for a Local Planning
Authority to consider further health aspects and concerns. This has been upheld
within the High Court.

The proposal the subject of this application is ICNIRP compliant and therefore the
proposal is considered to be acceptable in terms of its health implications.

Design and landscape Impact

Given the above it is considered that the main consideration in this instance is that of
design and visual impact on the character of the surrounding landscape.

The design of the mast and equipment cabins are typical of most
telecommunications sites. Whilst these are utilitarian in appearance and can be
intrusive it is considered that in this case the siting of the proposed mast and cabins
would be in a location where its visual impact would be minimised. In particular the
combination of the already approved floodlighting column and the mast itself would
aid the reduction of the site‟s visual impact. The addition of telecommunication
equipment on the pole would increase the height of the mast by three metres and
slightly increase the mast‟s diameter. Given the existing approval for a floodlighting
mast in this location it is not considered that it would result in any significant adverse
impact on the character of the area.

With reference to the equipment cabins, these will be well screened from the south
by the existing hedging. This hedging would also provide a backdrop for the site
when viewed from the north. Views from the west and northwest would be more
prominent, and therefore it is considered that should the application be approved a
condition requiring additional native landscaping along the western boundary of the
equipments cabins be attached. It is considered that views from the east would be
limited and not have any significant adverse landscape impact.

The proposed colouring of the mast and equipment cabins is a grey steel. However,
given the colouring of the surrounding hedging, it is considered that, in order to
ensure that the mast and cabins are as visually recessive as possible, a condition
should be attached requiring colour samples to be submitted and agreed in writing.

Conclusion

On balance it is considered that the proposal is in accordance with policies within the
adopted Broads Local Plan and that the design and siting of the proposed mast
would minimise its visual impact, the recommendation is therefore to approve subject
to conditions.




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Recommendation

Approve subject to the following conditions:

1. When the apparatus hereby permitted is no longer used for the purposes of
   telecommunications operation the operator shall notify the Local Planning
   Authority accordingly and within three months of the operational requirement
   ceasing, the mast and all associated apparatus, structures, fences and hard
   surfaces shall be removed from the land and the site shall be restored to the
   condition it was prior to the implementation of the permission, except as may
   otherwise be agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

2. Prior to commencement of development hereby approved, mast and equipment
   cabins shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning
   Authority. The development shall then be constructed and retained in full
   accordance with the approved details in perpetuity.

3. Prior to the commencement of the development hereby approved, a landscaping
   scheme to include the provision of a new native landscaping belt to the western
   boundary of the site shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local
   Planning Authority. The scheme shall indicate the species, number and size of
   new trees and shrubs to be planted. The scheme as approved shall be carried
   out not later than the next available planting season following the commencement
   of development or such further period as the Local Planning Authority may allow
   in writing.

4. Any new tree or shrub which within a period of five years from the date of planting
   dies, is removed or becomes damaged or diseased, shall be replaced during the
   next planting season with another of a similar size and species unless prior
   written agreement is given to any variation.

Reasons for Recommendation

The proposal is considered to be an appropriate form of development which is in
accordance with policies INF14 and B11 of the adopted Broads Local Plan.




Background Papers: Application file ref 07/07/0454

Author:                Mark Brown
Date of Report:        2 April 2007




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