Timber mast held to harm castle setting

A 20m timber-clad telecommunications mast proposed near a racecourse in Kent has been rejected because it would harm the countryside's character and appearance and a grade I listed building's setting.

The monopole was intended to provide third-generation coverage along the High Speed 1 rail link. The inspector found that the substantial engineering works for the route were not immediately apparent from the appeal site behind trees on an embankment. He judged that the mast would be in a rural environment, an impression reinforced by the adjacent grounds of a grade I listed castle.

The appellant company proposed to site the mast on an access road serving the racecourse and the castle. The inspector held that it would be highly visible as an inharmonious intrusion in the landscape and did not consider that timber cladding would do much to disguise its appearance.

He noted that the listed castle was a scheduled ancient monument containing a moat and extensive earthworks that extended well beyond its walls. He took the view that castle visitors would be likely to wander around the grounds. It would be entirely inappropriate for the installation to be seen in the same context, he ruled.

DCS Number 100-050-390

Inspector Paul Jackson; Written representations.

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