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Telecoms giant loses mobile phone mast appeal

Image – the mast would have been ‘incongruous’ near to the locally listed Solaris Centre

Developers have lost their battle to install a 20-metre-high 5G phone mast on a site close to a popular Blackpool destination.

An independent planning inspector has ruled the structure would be “incongruous” if it was installed on a site close to the Solaris Centre in South Shore.

Telecom infrastructure company CK Hutchinson had been refused planning permission for the scheme at the junction of Clifton Drive and Harrowside by Blackpool Council in October last year, but had lodged an appeal against the decision.

It said the mast was necessary to provide 5G internet coverage in the area, and would replace a mast at Squires Gate where the site is being redeveloped.

But a planning inspector sided with the council and said the siting of the mast on the land would be detrimental to the character of the area which includes the art deco Solaris Centre, which is locally listed.

The inspector said in a report: “The proposed installation would result in harm to the character and appearance of the area.

“As I am unable to conclude that there is a need to site the installation as proposed, in order to deliver the upgrade and increased coverage identified, this harm is not outweighed by the benefits arising from high-quality communications.”

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