Mast plan in sensitive spot is scuppered

The planned site for the mast.
The planned site for the mast.
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A controversial bid to site a 12-metre pole at a coastal beauty spot which was approved at the end of last year will now not go ahead.

As previously reported by the Gazette, Arqiva Ltd was given permission in December to erect the structure alongside the village green known as the Bullring, in Beadnell, which lies within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The mast is to be part of the smart meter communications network that will enable smart electricity and gas meters to homes and small businesses across Britain by 2020.

The Beadnell structure would provide the local area with the necessary coverage to benefit from a smart meter.

However, the Gazette has been informed that the mast will now not be erected as the Bullring is a designated emergency landing site for helicopters.

A Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said: “The development gained planning permission at the council’s planning and performance committee on December 22, 2015.

“The planning permission doesn’t, however, necessarily override any other constraints that may prevent it from progressing.”

At the committee meeting, the company argued that this site, on the approach to the village, was the best, striking ‘the best balance between environmental and operational considerations’.

The firm said that it had looked at other sites in the area, but these had been unsuitable for a number of reasons.

But objectors had called for the scheme to be deferred for a full investigation of alternative locations and engagement with the community.