Johnston Terrace Monopole

Posted on: April 20, 2023

The proposed Old Town location for this 17m high telecommunications monopole is unacceptable. 

Address:  27 Johnston Terrace Edinburgh

Proposal: The installation of 17m high slim-line monopole, supporting 6 No. antennas, 4 No. equipment cabinets and ancillary development

Ref No: 23/00899/FUL

Closing date for comments: Fri 07 Apr 2023

Determination date: Mon 01 May 2023

Result:  Pending

Cockburn Response

The Cockburn objects to this application.  The proposed Old Town location for this 17m high telecommunications monopole is unacceptable. 

It will inevitably have significant and negative impacts on views to and from Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town.  The Castle is one of Edinburgh and Scotland’s most historic and iconic heritage sites and tourist destinations.  It is the subject of multiple heritage designations to conserve and protect its fabric and its setting. The Old Town Conservation Area forms part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list in 1995.   The Old Town Conservation Area Character Appraisal states that: “A key element in giving Edinburgh its world – wide identity is the perception of the Old Town in approaches to the city. The topography of the Old Town makes it both very visible and provides a wide range of dramatic views. The Castle and the Old Town ridge dominate the Edinburgh skyline, not just from the present day city boundaries, but also in many more distant views and approaches to the city”.

In addition, this proposal will add street clutter to a busy pedestrian and vehicular thoroughfare subject to heavy tourist-related and residential usage at most times of the year. This fact heightens the need to keep pavements as clear and unobstructed as possible in and around this location.

This application should certainly be refused if it is determined that the benefits of the proposed installation are deemed not to outweigh the harm caused to the Old Town Conservation Area and to Edinburgh Castle and if there is insufficient evidence that alternative sites or mast sharing opportunities have been adequately explored. 

We understand the essential requirement for modern telecommunications infrastructure in our city and its importance to residents, visitors and businesses. However, we believe that, in consultation with local stakeholders, the proposed apparatus should be located in a more inconspicuous location or disaggregated into smaller, less conspicuous arrays if this is achievable.