19th Sep, 2019

Upton-upon-Severn phone mast bid turned down

PLANS to boost mobile phone signals in Upton-upon-Severn have been rejected by Malvern Hills District Council due to the detrimental effect they could have on the nearby wildlife.

Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited (CTIL) had submitted an application on behalf of Vodafone and O2 to build a base station including a 15m mast and related equipment within a fenced compound on the land at Portman’s Farm, in Newbridge Green.

The new mast would have improved the existing 2G and 3G coverage as well as providing 4G coverage within Upton and surrounding areas.

However, CTIL’s project was refused after district council bosses said the proposals would affect the badgers and Great Crested Newts at Portland Farm.

In a report, the district council said: “The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the siting of the proposed pole and associated works would not impact on protected species, in particular badgers and Great Crested Newts.

“On this basis the council is unable to approve the siting of the development due to the lack of information in relation to the potential risk and impact of the proposed development on protected species.”

Residents also voiced their concerns to the district council over the mast which they said would have an ‘adverse visual affect’ on the surrounding landscape as well as ‘devaluing’ properties in the area.

Despite seeing their first application fall through, a spokesperson for CTIL told the Observer they are keeping their options open.

CTIL said: “Vodafone and O2 customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel.

“Base stations are low powered devices which only cover approximately half a mile in radius and therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers.

“We have identified that we need to improve the coverage to our customers in Upton-upon-Severn.

“We were disappointed that the local planning authority refused the application and we are considering our options in the local area.”

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