Mull mast gets go ahead

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Plans to install a 20-metre communications tower on Mull have been approved by council chiefs.

Project consultants WHP Limited want to build the lattice-style tower on land north of Catherine’s Loch.

No objections have been received from the public and council officials confirmed last week they were happy for the structure to go ahead.

A report said: ‘The requirement for a new telecoms base station within this area is to cover the unserved residential premises in and around Lochbuie and to cover the C54 single track road which runs along the north bank of Loch Uisg between Lochbuie and Kinlochspelvie continuing towards Fellonmore.

‘The prior notification relates to the installation of a 20 metre high tower housed within a fenced equipment compound and other relevant associated works.’

The report outlined that the Town and Country Planning Order of 1992 grants planning permission for new ground-based telecommunications masts up to 25 metres where they are not within ‘designated areas’, such as national scenic areas, national parks or conservation areas.

The document continued: ‘Although, in this case, the proposed mast is below 25 metres in height and the development does not fall within any ‘designated areas’, the proposal was ‘called in’ for prior approval to allow Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to submit comments.

‘Although HES had no comments to make on the proposal, it recommended advice be sought from West of Scotland Archaeology Service (WoSAS).

‘WoSAS recommend an archaeological watching brief should be imposed to protect any potential archaeological issues raised by the proposals. Whilst the tower will be visible from the wider locale the topography of the site will assist with its integration in the landscape.

‘The design of the mast is a relatively slim, innocuous structure of relatively modest height, proposed in a landscape where electrical grid infrastructure is not uncommon, which, together, will help reduce the perceived impact of the proposed tower. Therefore, the siting and design of the proposed mast is considered acceptable.’