The initial steps in an appeal against a previously-refused ‘blot on the landscape’ financial trading telecommunications mast in the Preseli hills have been submitted, members of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park heard.
Last October, national park planners refused an application by Britannia Towers Ltd, on behalf of Wholesailor, to build a 51-metre-high telecommunications tower supporting nine transmission dishes and six mobile coverage antennas on privately-owned land at Pantmaenog Woodlands, Rosebush, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The developers stated that it would primarily have been used to link two data centres in London and Ireland, mostly related to financial trading, but would also improve local mobile phone signals.
The scheme had led to local objectors, including Maenclochog Community Council, which had said it “would be a blot on the landscape” and that a project of this size should have had wider public consultation.
The council had also raised concerns as to its potential negative impact on nature surrounding the site, including polecats living in Pantmaenog woods.
Concerned locals also raised objections about the mast’s visual impact, the health impact of such a powerful transmitter sited near to people’s houses, fears of it setting a precedent, the effect on tourism and the fact that there was already mobile coverage in the area.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority refused the application, saying the proposed mast “would have an unacceptably adverse impact on the visual amenities and landscape character of the national park”.
After that decision, campaigners said that they were “absolutely delighted” that the national park authority had taken “a firm and swift stance” on the application.
Peter Ainsworth, who previously said that approving the mast would be “a grotesque act of self-harm,” said: “It is a massive relief that the parks have seen sense and rejected this harmful application out of hand.”
Since then, national park planners, at their September meeting, heard the applicants have lodged an appeal with Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW).
During an update on appeals at the October meeting of the national park’s development management committee, members heard the initial documentation has been forwarded to PEDW.
The date the appeal will be considered is not yet known.