Mast will improve emergency response times

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One of the UK’s largest mobile phone companies has been given planning permission to install a communications tower outside a remote village on the edge of Loch Awe.

EE has been allowed by Argyll and Bute Council to build the 35-metre-high tower outside of Dalavich, on land west of Barnaline Lodge.

No objections were received to the proposals for the tower and a council planning officer said the proposals were ‘visually acceptable’ and would not be seen from the village itself.

Dalavich has an estimated population of about 70 people and is accessed by minor roads off the main A816 at Kilmartin or Kilmelford.

A handling report by the planning officer said: ‘This proposal is part of a government-led emergency services mobile telecommunications programme and is proposed to increase safety and response times in more remote areas.

‘An additional function will be to give EE improved mobile phone and data coverage for this area.’

The site is a flat area of ground which is well set within Barnaline Forest West which covers a large area of ground with undulating features and dense forestation.

‘The site is remote in nature and is set approximately 16km to the west of Dalavich village. The site sits in a well set back position to the rear of the designated settlement zone and is not visible from the village or from any approach from any nearby public road.

‘The applicant has submitted photo montages in support of the application which show that the proposed development will fit well within the landscape,’ said the report.

The officer added: ‘The proposals are considered visually acceptable given the considerable distance from the village and the nearest residential properties, the slim and open nature of the proposed 35-metre-high lattice tower and its siting in a rural location which already exhibits broadly similar structures such as the line of electricity poles traversing the landscape.

‘The apparatus proposed is the minimum necessary to ensure coverage requirements are met. In light of the operators’ efforts to design the best solution for this particular site, so as to minimise the impact of the development on the environment, it is considered that the appearance of the installation would not seriously impact on the visual amenity of the area.

‘Nor would it form an obtrusive feature within the landscape.’