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Photographic Survey of
the Intrusion of Telecommunications Infrastructure in Landscape
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Base Station at Pillowell  Grid Ref.  624 061

Orange site No. – erected summer 2002 in the face of considerable local opposition. 15m steel pole mast painted green with gloss finish; 2 sector ant; 2m steel palisade fence, grey cabins; no planting.

Comments: A relatively benign siting from a visual point of view although local opinion believes it is too close to housing. The mast is concealed from many viewpoints and when it is visible, has a backdrop of trees. The benefit of the green finish of the mast and compound fence from a camouflage point of view is almost entirely dissipated by a). the paint is gloss finish and catches the sun and b). the pale grey antennae which ensure the high visibility of the whole against the wooded backdrop.

Urgent amelioration needed: Simple painting of the antennae the same colour as the mast would make a considerable difference.

Ideal: Demolish and replace with wood pole or use tree attached antennae.

PLACE lobbied the Countryside Agency (CA) and the FoDDC for a public meeting on telecoms issue for two years (see PLACE). A meeting was held in July 2003 at which CA, representatives of all the mobile operators, mast manufacturer Francis and Lewis International Ltd., Forest Enterprise, PLACE, Gloucestershire County Council, and four members of the public were present. A number of issues were discussed, including the poor treatment by the telecoms operators of the Lydbrook community. All the operators were at pains to indicate their regret at the way things had gone for Lydbrook and also to say that future contacts would be better and that they would be much more responsive to the community. The reps said “tell us what you want” in relation to mast design, choice of site, screening etc. Those present understood a clear intention to be more flexible and responsive to local people. In the autumn of that year PLACE contacted Orange asking for the antennae of the Pillowell mast to be painted a similar colour to the mast to help camouflage them against the tree backdrop. Orange replied that owing to the considerable feeling against this particular installation in the community, they did not wish to raise any further ill feeling by making changes and that they had already responded to the wishes of the planning department regarding visual matters. This, despite what PLACE proposed, would improve the situation visually! They also said that the paint could adversely affect the operation of the antennae. This is not true– Henry Dolan, the CA’s technical expert told us there are no problems at all if the correct paint is used. When PLACE raised the issue at a TMWG meeting chief planner Sean Hannaby advised that it would be well to get the approval of the local parish council before lobbying Orange further. PLACE did a short presentation to the West Dean Parish Council in September 2004 it supported the painting proposals. In February 2005 PLACE re-contacted Orange regarding the painting of the antennae. Orange responded to this repeated request for painting of the antennae and other minor improvements at the site with the following: “I would like to clarify that Orange feels that every effort was made at the time of installation of our equipment to work with the local authority, the paint finish was agreed at that time as required by the planning consent. We do not therefore intend at this time to carry out additional painting or minor works to our equipment/installation.”
The reply refused to take further action.

At a TMWG meeting on 28/1/2005 a list of actions to be undertaken by the planning department included writing to Orange asking for the antennae to be painted. The letter was eventually written 29/7/2005. The letter was eventually written 29/7/2005. The reply refused to take further action.


Base Station at Driffield Road,  Grid Ref. 642 045

Orange site No. - ; original mast 15m tapering galv. steel lattice sited in 1995 with 6 sector ant;1 dish ant; 2 pale grey equipment cabins; 2m netting on concrete posts. A 5m vertical extension was added in 2002 with 3 more sector ant and 1 dish ant.

Comments: Tall, ugly intrusive mast in open countryside, visible from A48, local footpaths and from afar.

Urgent Amelioration needed: Demolish mast and replace with wood pole(s), plant shrubs around compound. 


Base Station at Driffield Road,  Grid Ref. 642 045


The ubiquitous standard Orange mast design makes no pretence whatever to elegance or responsiveness to rural surroundings, or any other surroundings (nor do many others). It is an engineer’s answer to the need to hold the antennae aloft. It is ugly and has an unmistakeably threatening, ‘watchtower’ presence which acts in a malign subliminal way on the consciousness of those unfortunate enough to have had such a structure dumped on their doorstep. It is astonishing that there is still so little awareness of the profound connection between bad design and mental ill health. It is unlikely that the health lobby concerned with mobile phone use would be so strong, were the infrastructure beautifully designed. The crucial importance of good design for a healthy society cannot be overemphasised.

Base Station at Old Hill, Nibley, Blakeney   Grid Ref. 668 062

This mast which was, when first built, below the tree canopy in front of which it is sited, has with subsequent additions, become another highly intrusive mast rising above the tree canopy with a visual cacophony of antennae. These additions have been made with notifications to the planning dept. only? Once a mast is sited most planning authorities simply grant additions thus the intrusiveness is allowed to increase by increments.
See sequential photographs – below 1998.


Base Station at Old Hill, Nibley, Blakeney   Grid Ref. 668 062

Crown Castle International multi-operator site No.1492238; Mmo2 Airwave site No. GL0 056; 3 site No-.; T-mobile site no.92238; Vodafone site No. 40397; 20m parallel sided galv. Steel lattice mast; 10 sector ant.; 2 dishes; Tetra array; 3 green and 5 pale grey cabins, 2m netting on galv. Steel posts; new access track scars field; no planting, existing trees provide useful backdrop.

Comments: Tall intrusive mast with a confusion of antennae spoiling many views. Site has grown significantly over last 5 years. Urgent Amelioration Needed: Ideally demolish mast and replace with wood pole masts and/or tree attached ant. Minimum paint mast, ant., cabins olive green and plant semi-mature shrubbery around compound.


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