Developer's appeal for 15m 5G mast in Old Windsor quashed by planning inspector

James Bagley. Local Democracy Reporter

Developer's appeal for 15m 5G mast in Old Windsor quashed by planning inspector

A developer's appeal to erect a 15 metre 5G mast in Old Windsor has been quashed by a planning inspector.

Telecommunications contractors Mobile Broadcast Network Limited (MBNL) wanted to add a new 5G pole in front of the Toby Carvery, Straight Road, Old Windsor, as they embark to deploy 2 to 5G antennas to provide the ‘best possible’ mobile experience for their customers.

In MBNL’s planning statement, which was submitted last September, they say the surrounding area would ‘benefit’ from improvement network coverage and will ‘future proof’ the area as digital communications become more prevalent in national infrastructure.

However, Royal Borough planning officers refused the contractor’s plans as they saw the mast as a ‘visually dominant incongruous feature’ which would harm the character and appearance of the area.

MBNL decided to appeal the officer’s decision but was dismissed by the planning inspectorate, John Longmuir, on May 12.

Mr Longmuir agreed with the planning officers as the 15m pole would impact the character and appearance of the area.

Straight Road, the A308, provides a route for motorists wanting to go to the parkland surrounding Windsor Castle and a direct link to Runnymede and the Magna Carter Memorial in the opposite direction.

In Mr Longmuir’s report, he wrote: “The appeal site environs are deferential to this approach to the Castle, but the mast would look obtrusive in an area of otherwise low height. It would attract undue attention and spoil the sense of arrival at the parkland surrounding the Castle.”

While acknowledging the benefits of improved digital capacity for the area, the inspectorate concluded they do not outweigh the harm the mast would have to Old Windsor.

Writing on his blog, independent councillor Jon Davey (Clewer & Dedworth West) called Mr Longmuir’s ruling ‘great news’ as it would’ve set a precedent for the area if it was approved.

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