Planning permission for mobile mast approved despite Eastbourne residents’ concerns

A plan to erect a mobile mast has been approved conditionally despite objections from Eastbourne residents.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:57 am
Updated Thursday, 1st July 2021, 6:34 pm

The application, which was submitted to Eastbourne Borough Council, sets out the plan to build a 15-meter mobile mast in Lindfield Road by the junction with Parkfield Avenue.

A ‘wraparound cabinet’ at the base and ‘associated ancillary works’ have also been conditionally approved.

Peter Lutterer, of Lindfield Road, had originally raised concerns over the plan and subsequently gathered 13 signatures objecting to the mobile mast.

The location where the mobile mast is set to be built. Picture from Peter Lutterer.

The letter of objection suggested the proposal, due to the height, design and siting of the mast, would have a ‘detrimental impact on the visual amenities of the street scene and the character of the area’.

Mr Lutterer said, “People are really concerned, I think in the flats next door, because it is very close.

“I think it ought to be sighted in industrial areas rather than residential. I know it has to go somewhere.”

Mr Lutterer said he does not oppose the mobile mast, just the location where it will be built.

He said, “It is just where the siting of it is. It is too close to those flats.

“You don’t really get the impression until you look at the elevations.

“Compared to the houses it looks like they are putting up a wind turbine mast. It is enormous.”

Mr Lutterer added, “We have to accept progress but I am not sure that close to people’s homes is the right place for it to be.

“It ought to be in industrial areas really.”

Mr Lutterer also raised concerns about how the pole would look in the community.

He said, “It is an eyesore. It is totally out of keeping.

“All of our telegraph poles are wooden telegraph poles down the road and there are cables.

“It is not a modern estate that has the telephone cables inducted into the houses through the ground.

“We accept that there has to be furniture but this is industrial street furniture, not domestic.”

In a letter from the head of planning at Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Councils an officer responded to the objections.

It read, “In terms of siting the proposed mast would be positioned to the western corner of the existing grassed area and adjacent to the footpath thereby retaining the remainder of the grassed area as open land with its associated tree planting.

“The use and amenity value of this area is not considered to be diminished to the extent that it would be sufficient to object to the proposed siting of the mast and equipment.

“The position adjacent to an area of amenity space avoids the mast being positioned directly to the front of any residential dwellings, where it may appear overbearing towards occupants and create a somewhat oppressive environment.

“Furthermore by siting the mast and cabinets back from the footpath ensures that there would be no impact on the width of the path and its users.

“In terms of height, design and prominence the mast would be taller than the existing features within the street scene.

“The narrow form of the mast would not disrupt the spatial characteristics of the surrounding area.

“Although there is other street furniture present nearby, it is not considered that the cumulative visual impact of nearby lighting and street furniture, along with the proposed mast and cabinets, would generate an unacceptable sense of clutter.”

The proposal was submitted by Hutchison UK Ltd although their trade name is Three UK.

Three has been contacted for a statement.