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Pembrokeshire Politics West Wales

Appeal launched on previously-refused financial trading tower in upland beauty spot

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

AN APPEAL against a previously-refused scheme for a financial trading telecommunications mast an area of outstanding natural beauty has been lodged, members of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park heard.

In October 2022, national park planners refused an application by Britannia Towers Ltd, on behalf of Wholesailor, to build a 51-metre-high telecommunications tower supporting nine transmission dishes and six mobile coverage antennas on privately-owned land at Pantmaenog Woodlands, Rosebush.

The development, planned for 384 metres above sea level, would also have comprised of equipment cabinets at ground level.

The developers stated that it would primarily have been used to link two data centres in London and Ireland, mostly related to financial trading.

However, it also would have boasted mobile phone antennas which they said would give the area a clearer signal.

The scheme had led to local objectors, including Maenclochog Community Council, which had said it “would be a blot on the landscape” and that a project of this size should have had wider public consultation.

The council had also raised concerns as to its potential negative impact on nature surrounding the site, including polecats living in Pantmaenog woods.

Concerned locals also raised objections about the mast’s visual impact, the health impact of such a powerful transmitter sited near to people’s houses, fears of it setting a precedent, the effect on tourism and the fact that there was already mobile coverage in the area.

Last October, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority refused the application as it was contrary to several local and national policies and the proposed mast “would have an unacceptably adverse impact on the visual amenities and landscape character of the national park”.

After that decision, campaigners said that they were “absolutely delighted” that the national park authority had taken “a firm and swift stance” on the application.

Peter Ainsworth, who previously said that approving the mast would be “a grotesque act of self-harm,” said: “It is a massive relief that the parks have seen sense and rejected this harmful application out of hand.”

Members of the September 6 meeting of the national park’s development management committee were told an appeal had been lodged with Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW).

The timescale for the appeal process is, as yet, not known.