2006/2069 LAND REAR OF 8 UNION ROAD & 413 - 415 STRATFORD
Application No: 2006/2069
Ward/Area: SHIRLEY SOUTH
Location: LAND REAR OF 8 UNION ROAD & 413 - 415 STRATFORD
ROAD SHIRLEY SOLIHULL
Date Registered: 03/10/2006
Applicant: HUTCHINSON 3G UK LTD
Proposal: TELECOMUNICATIONS. INSTALLATION OF A 14 METRE
ULTRA-SLIMLINE MONOPOLE MAST, THREE ANTENNAS
HOUSED WITHIN A GLASS REINFORCED PLASTIC SHROUD.
TWO EQUIPMENT CABINETS AND AN ELECTRIC METER
The installation of telecommunications apparatus is provided for under Part 24
of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted
Development) Order 1995 (as amended), subject to conditions set out in
paragraph A.3. Amongst other criteria, paragraph A.3 requires a
telecommunication operator to apply to the Local Planning Authority for a
determination as to whether the prior approval of the Authority will be required
for the siting and appearance of the development.
The proposal seeks prior approval for an electronics communications base
station comprising of a 14 m high ultra-slimline monopole mast and
associated antennas, a ground based equipment cabinet, a small MHA
cabinet and an electric metre cabinet. The three antennas would be housed
within a glass reinforced plastic shroud and positioned on the mast at a height
of 12.3 metres above ground level. The ground based equipment cabinet
would be finished in pebble grey (RAL 7032) and would measure 1.49 metres
in height, 0.7 metres in depth and 1.26 metres in width.
Highway Engineers : No objection
Neighbours Notified : 4th October 2006
Site Notice : 13th October 2006
Properties within a one hundred metre radius were individually consulted and
a site notice was placed on site. Fifteen representations and a petition with
twenty four signatures have been received. The observations are
summarised as follows:
1. The proposal would be sited too close to residential properties,
commercial properties, the Medical Centre and Shirley Heath School.
2. The tall and unsightly mast would have a detrimental impact on the
3. Health concerns.
4. The proposed mast could affect parental decision about choosing
Shirley Heath School.
5. The proposal would have an adverse impact on the value of
RPG11 – Regional Planning Guidance for the West Midlands (2004)
QE3 Creating a High Quality Environment for All
Solihull UDP (2006)
ENV2 – Urban Design
ENV9 – Telecommunications/Electromagnetic Fields
PPS1 – Delivering Sustainable Development
PPG8 – Telecommunications
PPG13 - Transportation
No relevant planning history.
The application site is located on a back street between Union Road and
Stratford Road. The base station would be sited on the back of the pavement
behind a row of shops and next to the H.V. Skan Works. There are existing
commercial units immediately to the north and south of the application site,
the car park of Scan House to the east and three storey buildings with
residential flats above to the west. A medical centre lies approximately 21
metres to the north east of the application site and Shirley Heath School lies
approximately 180 metres to the south east. Residential flats and houses also
lie further to the north and east at Union Road and Coombe Road.
• Impact on the Street Scene
• Neighbouring Amenity
• Highway Considerations
• Public Consultation
PPG8 ‘Telecommunications’ aims to facilitate the growth of new and existing
telecommunications systems whilst ensuring that telecommunications
equipment has the least visual intrusion to its surroundings. To prevent the
proliferation of masts and equipment, PPG8 advocates the sharing of masts
and sites to ensure the optimum environmental solution found. PPG8
continues that use should be made of existing buildings and other structures
before free standing structures are proposed. Where free standing structures
are required, operators should use sympathetic design and camouflage to
minimise the impact of development on the environment.
PPG8 advocates that the operator should undertake an assessment of need,
which should support any application to the local planning authority. The
supporting evidence submitted by the applicant as part of this application
states a gap in coverage has been identified in this area and the proposed
base station will result in a significant improvement in the quality of coverage
so that much of the Shirley area will now receive coverage levels sufficient to
provide an effective 3G service in this area. The 3G coverage will
predominantly benefit residential areas to the east and west of the A34
Stratford Road, Shirley Shopping Centre and a key stretch of the A34 through
Shirley. This demonstrates a need for an additional 3G base station to provide
the required level of service to the Shirley area.
The applicant states that this particular coverage objective cannot be met by
the sharing of existing telecommunications masts or sites in the area. Thirteen
alternative sites for installation were also explored but were found unsuitable
for a the following reasons:
• Land owner unwilling to consider any form of telecommunications
• Greater visual impact than the application proposal;
• Close proximity of underground services;
• Design of building unsuitable for telecommunications development;
• Unsuitable site for servicing; and
• Unacceptable impact on a Grade II Listed Building.
Policy ENV9 seeks to resist telecommunication equipment that is to be
located in or adjacent to sensitive areas, which may include residential areas
and education and health institutions. In such areas, Policy ENV9 stipulates
that development will only be permitted if there is no other technically suitable
location that both meets operational requirements and causes less
environmental harm, and any mast is at a distance of at least twice its height
from the nearest residential property.
Impact on Street Scene
The proposal seeks prior approval for a 14 metre ultra-slimline monopole
mast incorporating 3 antennas, together with ground based equipment cabinet
and ancillary development. The mast would be located immediately adjacent
to the boundary wall of the car park of Skan House.
The ground based equipment cabinet, MHA cabinet and electric metre cabinet
would be of a similar scale, design and colour as other items of street furniture
commonly found in urban areas. The proposed mast would only marginally
extend beyond the roof line of the three storey buildings to the south and west
of the application site and it is considered that these buildings would
sufficiently screen the mast when viewed from Stratford Road. The
neighbouring properties to the north of the application site are only two storey
in nature and as such, the mast would be more visible when viewed from
Union Road. However, given the backdrop of predominantly commercial
buildings against which the mast will be viewed from Union Road, it is not
considered that the proposal would have unacceptable visual impact. It is not
therefore considered the proposed electronic communication base station
would have an unacceptable impact on the character appearance of the street
The application site is considered to be situated within a sensitive location
given its close proximity to residential properties, educational and health
institutions. Policy ENV9 of the Solihull UDP (2006) states that any mast
should be located at a distance of at least twice its height from the nearest
residential property. In this instance, the nearest residential property would
need to be situated at least 28 metres from the electronic communication
base station. The adjacent flats above the shops fronting Stratford Road
would not, however, maintain the recommended separation distance, with the
nearest flat being approximately 11.5 metres from the proposed electronic
communication base station. The proposal is therefore considered to have a
detrimental impact on the residential amenity of surrounding neighbouring
properties by means of overbearing and as such, is contrary to Policies ENV2
and ENV9 of the Solihull Unitary Development Plan (2006).
The ground based cabinet equipment and ancillary works would leave
sufficient space to allow pedestrians to pass safely and without having to step
into the adjacent road. The Highways Engineer has raised no objection and
as such, it is not considered that proposal would have a detrimental impact on
The proposal is in compliance with ICNIRP guidelines – the International
Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection for public exposure. PPG8
states that if a proposed installation meets ICNIRP guidelines, it is not
necessary for a local planning authority to consider further matters of public
In response to public consultation concerns over the impact on the street
scene, health and the close proximity to surrounding properties has been
addressed above. With regard the depreciation of local properties and the
potential decline in the number of pupils attending Shirley Heath School,
these are not material planning considerations.
The proposed electronic communication base station, by virtue of its close
proximity to surrounding neighbouring properties, would have an
unacceptable impact on the residential amenity of surrounding neighbouring
properties by means of overbearing. As such, the proposal is considered an
inappropriate form of development contrary to Policies ENV2 and ENV9 of the
Solihull UDP (2006).
For the reasons outlined above I recommend refusal.
(1) The proposed 14m high telecommunications mast and ancillary
equipment is considered inappropriate in this location and would have an
overbearing impact on nearby residential properties. The proposal therefore
conflicts with Policy ENV2 and ENV9 of the Solihull UDP (2006).
NOTE: For the avoidance of doubt this decision refers to the plans as follows:
Plan Number(s): 0229932 - 101 dated 3rd October 2006.