Phone mast would block views of Blackpool Tower

Plans to put a 50ft tall phone mast in Blackpool town centre have been thrown out on appeal because it would have harmed views of the Tower.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 10:10 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 10:12 am

The mast, which would have supported 5G technology, had been earmarked for a site on a footpath between King Street and East Topping Street car park, close to the Town Centre Conservation Area.

Council planning officers refused permission for the structure in September last year but applicant Hutchison 3G UK Ltd had lodged an appeal.

However planning inspector Sarah Manchester has now upheld the council’s decision.

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It was feared the phone mast would harm views of Blackpool Tower
It was feared the phone mast would harm views of Blackpool Tower

The 15 metre high monopole (equivalent to just under 50ft) would have been around the same height as a three storey building.

Ms Manchester said it “would be a conspicuously tall feature in an open location”, twice as tall as nearby lighting columns and “would tower over the surrounding townscape.”

She added: “It would not be discreetly sited and it would not be screened or assimilated into the street scene.

“By virtue of its size and prominent siting, it would appear out of scale and it would be a dominant and incongruous feature.

“The proposal would affect the setting of the nearby Stanley Buildings and the more distant Blackpool Tower.

“The overly large monopole, including its bulky array, would detract from and compete visually with both the listed buildings.”

She warned “the harm to the setting of the Tower would be experienced over a wide area.”

Although residents and businesses would have benefited from improved digital connectivity, this did not outweigh the visual harm.

It was also believed other more suitable locations for the mast could be found.

The inspector concluded: “The proposal would fail to preserve the setting of the heritage assets.”

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