Telecon firm lodges appeal over Harpenden water tower

The familiar sight of Harpenden's water tower overlooking the town

The familiar sight of Harpenden's water tower overlooking the town - Credit: Archant

A telecommunications company has wasted no time in going to appeal over a decision to refuse permission for a 20-metre mobile phone mast on a site in Harpenden.

In July, St Albans councillors turned down a planning application from Telefonica for the new mast adjoining the 26-metre water tower in Shakespeare Road which would subsequently be demolished.

The application drew opposition from local residents, not because they wanted to see the water tower retained, but because of the lack of information about what was planned for the site as a whole.

Harpenden town council also opposed the application because of the visual impact of the telecom mast on surrounding properties. They wanted to see more innovative camouflaging of the equipment and were concerned about screening from neighbouring properties.

The application was turned down by the district council in July on the grounds that it was not acceptable in that location and would have a significant impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area.

Telefonica has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, arguing that thre was a well defined technical need for such an installation which would benefit the public. The telecommunications company also maintained that it had given full consideration to the design of the tower and the impact of the proposed development on the local area.

It also points out that in the officer’s report to committee, therer had been support for development in that location and there would be no adverse impact on neighbours. The appeal is being dealt with in writing.