Proposed 5G telecoms installation, Whitehouse Loan
Posted on: May 12, 2023
The proposed telecommunications equipment would result in excessive visual and physical clutter within the streetscape and would be detrimental to the character of a a Conservation Area
Address:30 Meters West Of 171 Whitehouse Loan Edinburgh
Proposal: Proposed 5G telecoms installation comprising street pole and equipment cabinets
Reference No: 23/01490/FUL
Closing date for comments: Fri 12 May 2023
Determination date: Fri 02 Jun 2023
The Cockburn OBJECTS to this application.
The proposed telecommunications equipment would result in excessive visual and physical clutter within the streetscape and would be detrimental to the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area.
The proposal would have a harmful impact upon the visual quality of the wider street scene and so detract from the amenity and special character of the conservation area and from residential amenity. It is our view that the application is not consistent with Policy Env 6 Conservation Areas – Development as it does not preserve or enhance the special character or appearance of the conservation area.
This site is close to a number of Listed Buildings. It is our view that the application is not consistent with Policy ENV3 – Listed Buildings which indicates that development within the curtilage or affecting the setting of a listed building will be permitted only if not detrimental to the appearance or character of the building, or to its setting
In addition, this proposal will add street clutter to a relatively narrow pavement close busy road junctions. This area of the city hosts several educational establishments, and this fact heightens the need to keep pavements as clear and unobstructed as possible.
We also note the recent refusal of a similar application 22/04200/FUL further north on Whitehouse Loan, opposite No 108. This was for a mast 16m high (i.e. shorter than the 20m proposed for this site opposite No 171). In its Handling Report, explaining the refusal, the Case Officer wrote: “The development would disrupt the settled and mature character of the immediate vicinity, which is heavily influenced by soft landscaping and buildings formed in traditional and natural materials. It would erode the historic quality of the streetscape, to the detriment of the character and appearance of the conservation area. “The proposal would have an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the conservation area and is unacceptable, having regard to Section 64 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.”
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 conservation area and setting of Listed Buildings 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. 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.