Planning Application EPF/2151/21

Location: Orchard Drive, Theydon Bois, Epping CM16 7DH

Applicant: CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Ltd

Proposal: Application to determine if Prior Approval is required for a proposed 15.0m Phase 8 Monopole C/W wraparound Cabinet at base and associated ancillary works.

At its meeting held on 19th August 2021, the Theydon Bois Parish Council Planning Committee agreed to submit a strong objection to Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) in response to the above Prior Approval planning application.

Many local residents attended the meeting to express deep concerns about the proposal to erect a 5G telecommunications mast and associated cabinet equipment at this location outside the village primary school in Orchard Drive.

Comments or objections by individuals concerning this application can be submitted to Planning Services at Epping Forest District Council in the following ways:

Web:  Comments can be entered directly onto the EFDC iPlan system here

Email: to quoting ‘Planning Application: EPF/2151/21 – Orchard Drive, Theydon Bois CM16 7DH’ in the email subject header

Letter: addressed to Director of Service, Planning Services, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ

The deadline for submitting comments on this proposal to EFDC is 1st September 2021

Personal details must be included with any comments addressed to EFDC – anonymous submissions will not be considered.

The Parish Council’s strong objection to this proposal is based on its siting and appearance, these being the main considerations to be taken into account by the Local Authority when considering this type of application:

  • The Parish Council believes the 15m high 5G monopole mast (and associated equipment) would be visually out of scale within the local context, and not in keeping with its surroundings.
  • The Parish Council strongly disagrees with the Applicant’s statement that “The proposal would not result in demonstrable harm to the character of the immediate or wider area.”
  • The mast would be visually intrusive and detrimental to the character, appearance and amenity of the locality and, in the Council’s view, the proposal would be extremely harmful to the streetscene.
  • The proposed siting would be outside the village Primary School, directly against the school railings, and the School is objecting to this proposal in the strongest terms.
  • The School was not pre-consulted about this application before it was registered with Epping Forest District Council. The proposed siting is the busiest stretch of pavement in the village while school children are dropped off and picked up from school.
  •  The mast would be highly conspicuous. It would be sited in close proximity to residential dwellings, where it would be in clear view from the windows of those properties opposite.
  •  At 15 metres high, the proposal would impose itself on the immediate surroundings and the horizon. It would also be clearly visible from the junction with Coppice Row and from the Village Green (which is part of Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation).
  • Contrary to the application, the mast would not be amply screened by tall mature trees. Trees in the vicinity are positioned behind the proposed siting, are less than 10m tall and are deciduous. The mast would therefore not be suitably camouflaged, contrary to paragraph 115 of the National Planning Policy Framework, 2021.
  • The application states there are numerous vertical elements of street furniture in the vicinity, including street lighting columns. This is not correct, Theydon Bois does not have street lighting.
  • The mast would be a toweringly dominant and incongruous vertical feature placed in an open horizontal landscape which is predominantly characterised by grass verges, open front garden areas, and low-level buildings.
  • Therefore, the mast would severely and adversely impact on the visual character and appearance of the area, and on wider public amenity in Theydon Bois.