Plans to put up 5G mobile phone masts on two sites in Brighton have been turned down for a second time.
Three submitted separate planning applications to Brighton and Hove City Council for 50ft or 50-metre-high masts, with cabinets at the base, in Eastern Road, Kemp Town, and Bexhill Road, Woodingdean.
The council turned down the Eastern Road application in October 2021 and the Bexhill Road proposal in June last year.
Three appealed against the council’s decisions and the Planning Inspectorate recently published the outcome of both appeals, with the refusals upheld.
The council turned down the Woodingdean proposal because the pole and cabinets would “create a significant obstruction” on the footpath.
The council said that Three had not demonstrated “robust site selection” and the design was described as “top-heavy”, detracting from views of the South Downs National Park.
The Eastern Road proposal was rejected because the mast’s position, height and width would create “undue visual clutter” on the street scene, “detrimental to the setting” of the Queen’s Park Conservation Area.
CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd, which operates the Three mobile phone network, said that the Eastern Road proposal would not affect the visual amenity of the area and would cover a 5G “black hole”.
In response to the objections to the Bexhill Road proposal, the company said: “The installation itself (pole and cabinets) is designed to be deployed upon pavements and verges in such urban locations.
“In terms of the discreet location and nature of the scheme proposed, it is considered the apparatus will blend into the existing street scene and the overall scheme represents an appropriate balance between visual impact and operational requirements.
“The mast is, at 15m, at the absolute minimum height which can be deployed to bring the benefits of 5G. We have also coloured the pole and cabinets grey to help assimilation here.”
Planning inspector Luke Simpson rejected both appeals.
He said that the Bexhill Road proposal would affect views of the South Downs National Park.
He also said: “The mast would be obtrusively prominent, particularly when viewed from the south, east or west.
“It would not be sympathetic to the more modest scale of development to the south and it certainly wouldn’t be in keeping with the rural open character of the open fields to the north.”
Mr Simpson said that, in relation to the Eastern Road site, he gave “great weight” to potential harm to the Queen’s Park Conservation Area over the need for 5G.