CASEBOOK: Appeal Cases; Telecommunications - Mock flagpole judged harmful to garage setting

An appeal for a mock flagpole containing three telecommunications antennas, an equipment cabin and ancillary equipment has been dismissed in Kent because it would harm the setting of a grade II listed garage and the visual quality of the locality.

The proposal entailed the replacement of an existing flagpole with a 10m pole with three panel antennas shrouded within it. The building, listed as "a remarkable survivor of the early days of popular motoring", stood in the angle of two roads leading away from a roundabout. Two flagpoles stood symmetrically on either side and cars were displayed for sale under a canopy that originally sheltered the petrol pumps.

The inspector acknowledged that on the face of it there was merit in the argument that to replace an existing flagpole with a mock flagpole of similar design could not have a significant visual impact. He observed, however, that the present flagpoles appeared to have been located with their relationship to the listed building firmly in mind and both were used.

Whereas at a glance the mock flagpole on its own might be mistaken for the real thing, he felt that its proximity to the surviving original flagpole would make the differences obvious. He noted that it would be impossible to fly a flag from the proposed pole because there would be no raising and lowering mechanism. He concluded that the resulting visual inconsistency would detract from the setting of the listed building.

DCS No: 32885066; Inspector: John Gray; Written representations.

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