14/02110/FUL - 83 Thorpe Road, Peterborough, PE3 6JQ
- Meeting of Planning and Environmental Protection Committee, Tuesday 3rd February, 2015 1.30 pm (Item 7.)
The planning application was to retain an existing 15 metre high temporary mast support for 3 antennas at 83 Thorpe Road, Peterborough, temporary radio equipment housing and ancillary development, including a temporary fenced compound for 12 months.
The main considerations set out in the report were:
· Design and impact upon the character and appearance of the surrounding area
· Impact upon neighbour amenity
· Highways implications
· Radiation and public health
It was officer’s recommendation that planning permission be granted, for the reasons set out in the report.
The Head of Development and Construction provided an overview of the application and raised the following key points:
· The background to the application involved the demolition of the hospital. The applicant had a mast on the hospital site that was removed, with the application site used as an interim measure.
· A permanent site had been identified and established, however the coverage had not been as comprehensive as predicted. As such, the interim site was maintained, while a second permanent site was found.
· Initially the temporary mast had a diesel engine attached to it, which generated a significant amount of noise.
· This generator had been removed and Environmental Health had been satisfied that noise complaints had been sufficiently addressed.
· The applicant had originally requested a temporary permission until September 2015, however officer recommendation was to grant a permission until 3 August 2015.
Councillor Fitzgerald, Ward Councillor, addressed the Committee and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· The applicants knew the hospital would be demolished and should have planned accordingly. It should not have taken this long to find a permanent solution.
· The local residents experienced substantial disturbance while the diesel engine was in situ. Although the situation had significantly improved, additional background noise still occurred at night.
· Residents were in the process of putting together a petition on the topic.
· It was suggested that instead of a six month temporary permission, a three month permission be granted.
· The temporary structure had an overbearing impact on local residents.
· Residents had expressed concern about the mast becoming a permanent fixture on the site.
The Head of Development and Construction clarified that the end date for the temporary permission of 3 August that had been recommended by officers represented a twelve month period from the time the previous permission had expired. The mast may have been in place for longer than this.
Jenny Bye, Waldon Telecom Ltd, addressed the Committee in support of the application and responded to questions from Members. In summary the key points highlighted included:
· It was accepted that the diesel engine on the site was unsuitable, which had now been rectified and replaced with a domestic air conditioning unit.
· It had taken a long time to find a suitable alternative site for a permanent mast. One had recently been identified near the Thorpe Meadows roundabout. Consultation in relation to this site would begin shortly.
· It may be possible to have a permanent site ready in three months, however it would be a tight timescale.
· The feasibility of such a timescale would depend upon whether a permanent site was granted planning permission or not.
· It was explained that a permanent site had been established prior to the demolition of the hospital, however this had provided insufficient coverage. As such, a second permanent site had to now be found.
· Assurance was given that a permanent site would be found as quickly as possible.
· No communication had been provided to residents and it was accepted that this was an error.
The Head of Development and Construction advised that a three month timescale to find, secure and construct a permanent mast site would be tight and that the applicants would be able to apply for an extension to the temporary permission if required.
The Committee sympathised with residents’ objections and suggested that communication had been poorly handled by the applicant. Concern was raised in relation to the possibility of an increase of noise in the summer months. It was suggested that, although not ideal, the applicant needed sufficient time to establish an alternative site for the mast.
In response the questions from the Committee the Head of Development and Construction clarified that if the mast was found to be operating beyond the noise limits stipulated in any permission granted, enforcement action could be taken. It was noted that if the application were to be refused and the applicant appealed, the temporary mast would be allowed to stay in place until any appeal was determined.
A motion was proposed and seconded to agree that permission be granted, as per officer recommendation. The motion was carried by eight votes, with two voting against.
RESOLVED: (eight voted in favour, two voted against) that planning permission is GRANTED subject to the conditions set out in the report.
Reasons for the decision
Subject to the imposition of the attached conditions, the proposal was acceptable having been assessed in the light of all material considerations, including weighing against relevant policies of the development plan and specifically:
- the retention of the mast and its supporting infrastructure would not result in any unacceptable level of harm to the character, appearance or visual amenity of the surrounding area, in accordance with Policy CS16 of the Peterborough Core Strategy DPD (2011) and Policy PP3 of the Peterborough Planning Policies DPD (2012);
- the plant associated with the telecoms mast would not result in any unacceptable level of disturbance and harm to the amenities of neighbouring occupants, in accordance with paragraph 123 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012), Policy CS16 of the Peterborough Core Strategy DPD (2011) and Policy PP3 of the Peterborough Planning Policies DPD (2012);
- the retention of the mast would not result in any unacceptable impact to the adjacent public highway, in accordance with Policy CS14 of the Peterborough Core Strategy DPD (2011) and Policy PP12 of the Peterborough Planning Policies DPD (2012); and
- the application had been accompanied by a certificate confirming accordance with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation, in accordance with paragraph 43 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012).