Residents breathed a sigh of relief in Upper Quinton last week as plans for a 70 foot phone mast were dismissed on appeal.
A planning application, submitted by Vodafone back in 2017, put forward plans for a phone mast on Land at Old Bakery, on Meon Hill, back in 2017, only to see them rejected later that year following opposition from residents and Quinton Parish Council.
However that was not the end of the matter as the company went on to appeal that decision.
Vodafone said that the mast was their only option due to a lack of existing buildings in the area on which they could mount an antenna.
Locals have always maintained their opposition to the plan, arguing amongst other things that the towering structure would impact on the nearby historic St Swithin’s Church and the hill itself, located within an area of outstanding natural beauty (ANOB) and popular with walkers.
A letter from residents opposing the appeal stated that the mast would ‘radically change the character of the setting by its scale and nature, and would have a significant adverse impact on the purposes for which the area has been designated or defined.’
Mary Johnson, who co-ordinated residents’ opposition to the mast, said: “I’m very relieved at this decision because it was totally out of keeping with the character of the village and would have impacted on the ANOB and the views of the landscape.
“The great frustration is that all of this could have been avoided if they had just consulted with the community, this is our ANOB, but we’re surrounded by industrial estates, we could have worked with them to find somewhere more suitable. If they had taken a different approach it could have saved us a year-and-a-half of huge effort and worrying about the application, I had great fears and sleepless nights that this may have been approve.
“I really hope the company will work with us with any future application and we can take a collaborative approach. I’m think we can find a positive way forward and work with each other.”