SADDLEWORTH Parish Council has joined concerned residents in voicing its objection to a proposal to install a new 15-metre communications pole in Springhead.
IX Wireless Limited wants to put the obelisk – which would carry fibre cables and radio antennae, as well as a street cabinet to house electronic communications apparatus – on land at the junction of Carr House Road and Ashfield Crescent.
They say it would help boost the country’s high-speed communications network – but the authority is siding with opponents by objecting to the proposal, with the impact on sight lines at the junction a big point of contention.
One comment against the scheme states: “The company is totally ignoring residents’ concerns about the need for and siting of the monstrosities, cluttering pavements and walkways and causing a blight on all areas where the equipment will be sited.
“I for one – and I know many others of the same mind – will not subscribe to or support any services the company allegedly provides, irrespective of whatever inducements or enticements they propose.”
Another added: “As someone directly affected living so close to this site. I strongly oppose to this on many reasons. Many of which have been put forward by other objections.
“This area already has fibre optic broadband as well as the normal mobile coverage.
“The main reason for objecting is the data cabinet siting. Which so close to a busy junction will obstruct drivers’ line of sight.
“The size of this cabinet will make it an obstruction.
“This is a very busy junction for both vehicles and pedestrians exiting the commercial premises just metres away. This is simply an accident waiting to happen should this be allowed.”
Now Saddleworth Parsh Council’s planning committee has recommended refusal, also citing concerns for those living in flats above the adjacent convenience store so close to the pole and antennae.
IX Wireless insisted it has worked with Oldham Council and it has done all it can to make usre it will not impact visually too much.
It states: “Since November 2022, the applicant has engaged closely with both the local authority’s planning and highways departments in relation to its proposed network roll out and has provided proposed street pole locations to the Planning and Highways Departments for consideration and feedback to determine suitable locations.
“The proposed development is one of these locations.
“The visual impact of the development is minimised as far as is reasonably practicable. Additionally, the siting of any development must not prevent pedestrians from passing along a footway, prevent access to premises adjoining a footway having to the needs of disabled people.
“Any ancillary street cabinets can be installed provided that the ground area occupied by a cabinet does not exceed one-and-a-half square metres.
“The pole must be removed, and land returned to its original state when no longer needed for communications proposes.”
IX add the height of the pole means it does not need planning permission from Oldham Council’s planning committee to install it.
And they contend: “There are no suitable existing tall building or third-party mast structures.
“The required network coverage can only be achieved by erecting pole in a new location, albeit in a location where the pole structure would in any event be erected under permitted development rights to support fibre cable.
“Then pole is a sufficient distance from any habitable windows not to cause an adverse impact. It is acknowledged that the poles may be visible from some habitable room windows, however, given the separation distance between the two, it is considered that the development would not result in a loss of light or privacy.”