Shropshire Star

5G phone mast plans close to historic 'Round House' withdrawn after objections

Plans for a telephone mast to be built next to a historic Telford building have been withdrawn after receiving objections.

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Burcot Gate

The proposed plans were for a telephone mast to be built at the junction of Burcot Gate in Wrockwardine.

Applicant CK Hutchison Networks submitted plans to install a ‘radio base station’ including a 17-metre-high mast to provide the latest 5G technology in the Burcot area.

However, Telford & Wrekin Council’s built heritage conservation department objected to the plans due to its proximity to the Grade II listed Burcotgate, known as ‘The Round House’ or ‘Umbrella House’.

“Thought to have been designed by Thomas Telford, it is a single-storey tollhouse in ashlar stone with distinctive projecting bay, central stack and hipped slated roofs with deep overhangs,” said the built heritage department in their objection.

“It is located at a historic road junction on the ancient route of Watling Street, where the projecting bay and windows allowed long views of approaching carriages.”

The built heritage conservation officer said that the mast would harm ‘key views’ of the listed building from both directions along the B5061, as well as from the Wrockwardine Road.

“The 17-metre high pole would particularly evident within the open landscape as an incongruous and bulky modern feature, and intrusively located in relation to the listed building,” their objection added.

The applicant said that the ‘proposed column’ would enable 5G ‘coverage and capacity requirements are maintained’.

The 17-metre high ‘slim-line monopole’ would support six and supporting equipment.

“These latest technologies operate at higher frequency bands than older technologies such as 2G and 3G,” the applicant added.

“The higher the frequency band the greater the radio signal is naturally weakened. The latest 4G technology and new 5G service provision carry higher capacity and data speeds to the user, this leads to such antennas having to be positioned at a higher height than more standard antennae and in turn a taller antenna height for 5G service provision.

“The antennas are proposed to be open and not shielded as this provides the optimal service provision to the surrounding area.”

Wrockwardine Parish Council also objected to the plans claiming that it would ‘interfere with the sight line’ at the nearby junction.

“In addition, the mast will be positioned adjacent to a bus stop which has recently been brought back into use for the rural bus service and, sight will be diminished further should buses be using the stop,” added their objection.

The applicant has withdrawn the plans and a new location for the mast is being considered.

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