Beacon Fell phone mast plan rejected

A bid to install a 40-metre high phone mast close to the summit of Beacon Fell has been rejected.

Preston City Council has refused permission for the mast, which mobile infrastructure firm Cornerstone had wanted to erect on the beauty spot in Goosnargh.

The authority's planning officers said the proposed development would be “detrimental to the character and appearance” of what is “a landmark feature within the skyline”.

3,000 people signed a petition objecting to the tower, which would have stood 10 metres taller than the trees surrounding it.

There were 123 written objections direct to the council, and two letters in favour of the mast.

In the report outlining the reasons for its decision, Preston City Council said local authorities cannot “question the need for an electronic communications system” - and acknowledged official mapping indicated that indoor signal to the north and east of the 266 metre-high Beacon Fell is poor.

They also noted that the area is “covered by both good outdoor mobile signal and ultrafast broadband”, meaning it considered the benefits of the proposal to be “minor”.

The decision notice also stated: "The proposal would cause significant harm to the important characteristics of Beacon Fell, its undeveloped openness and wide visibility.”

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