Photo credit Dan Foote
5G Mast Off A38 Communication with ThreeDear Ms Davies
Thank you for your letter dated 31st May 2023
I do not understand why the emails bounced back as undeliverable but would be grateful if you could reply by email to my email address email@example.com and copy my Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org and vice-chairman email@example.com in the interest of time.
The Parish Council has the following questions for THREE :
1. Consulting with communities - Does THREE take community affairs seriously and work with communities to find solutions in cases such as Landrake where there is a very significant feeling in the community that the location of a mast is dangerous and inappropriate? We are aware of other examples (Ilkley, Llandudno) where THREE has listened to communities, and would urge THREE to think again before proceeding under the planning approval PA23/02464 to install this mast in a dangerous and unsightly location at the entrance to our village.
2. Will you meet with us? - Will THREE agree to meet (preferably on—site or alternatively - by Zoom) with our parish council to again explore alternative sites for this mast?
Whilst the statement “ in reaching their decision the LPA assessed highways safety and considered the siting and appearance of the proposed site” is factually correct it is far from the whole story.
3. Why was the first application withdrawn? = Following the submission of PA23/00259 (the first application for a 20m mast at this location), after over 70 written objections and a petition of 226 people, THREE, via Clarke Telecom. withdrew the application. The Parish Council would like to know the reason why this was withdrawn, and if the local objections played any part in THREE’s decision.
4. Why was there no consultation with Highways ? As part of PA23/00259, Highways submitted concerns about the dangerous location of the mast. An extract of their response is shown below
National Highways consultee response PA23/02464
It is necessary that we fully understand any potential impact on the highway that may result from the installation and subsequent operation of the equipment, in accordance with DfT Circular 01/2022. It would be expected that the agreement of National Highways would be sought prior to the submission of a prior notification application, which has not happened in this case. This is disappointing given our comments to the previous application reference PA23/00259.
National Highways consultee response PA23/00259
It would be expected that the agreement of National Highways would be sought prior to the submission of a prior notification application, which has not happened in this case.
Assessment of highways impact National Highways considers that the proposed development has the potential to adversely impact on the safe and effective operation of the A38 for the following reasons: 2 Registered office Bridge House, 1 Walnut Tree Close, Guildford GU1 4LZ National Highways Limited registered in England and Wales number 09346363 • the mast is within falling distance of the A38 carriageway and footway and no technical approvals for the structure have been provided and no road safety audit undertaken; • the installation could be vulnerable to an errant vehicle strike and it is not clear what protection measures have been considered; • no information has been provided regarding how safe and suitable access for maintenance will be achieved to ensure the A38 carriageway and footway will not be damaged or impeded after installation.
It is clear that in both cases (PA 23/00259 and PA23/02464) that there has been no prior consultation with Highways about this development. Why did THREE bypass the normal consultation process and not involve Highways, particularly as the A38 in this part of Cornwall is so dangerous?
5. Provision of 4G and 5G services to the local area – from the Clarke Telecom correspondence, the local area to be served by this mast location is approximately 50 houses. Any connectivity that serves the wider A38 (eg traffic, GPS etc) could easily be met from alternative locations, and we believe that there are alternative sites in the village that could be used for full coverage. Could THREE answer this question – how many THREE customers within the “red lines” on the Clarke Telecom correspondence – would be served by this mast?
Request to reconsider – the Parish Council is acting on behalf of the community who overwhelmingly do not want this mast at the proposed location. We have proposed multiple other locations for the mast and feel that THREE could show flexibility and a true desire to engage with communities before going ahead and implementing this planning decision. We know that the planning system is in favour of development, but surely there must be some balance between “progress at all costs” and the very strong views of a community which is ready to welcome 5G in a safe location.
We urge THREE to meet with the Parish Council to seek an alternative safe site for this mast.
We await your reply.
8th June 2023