The appeal against refusal (3184981) was dismissed, mainly on the ground that the applicants had failed to carry out an adequate search for a suitable site.
“25. Given all of the above and the harm that I have identified, I need to be satisfied that alternatives have indeed been thoroughly explored. I am mindful that there is a limit to how far an operator can reasonably be expected to go to demonstrate no other less intrusive or harmful sites are available. Nonetheless, on the basis of the information before me, I cannot be assured that all alternative, potentially less harmful options have reasonably been explored and discounted and therefore that no more suitable sites are available.”
28. The harm to designated heritage assets is a matter to which I give great weight. When assessed in terms of paragraph 132 of the Framework, this harm would be less than significant harm. In such cases harm is to be considered against the public benefits of the proposal. Given the Framework’s support for communications infrastructure, there are considerable public benefits which would arise from the development. However, I find that the evidence is insufficient to show that there are no alternative sites available which would cause less harm. Consequently, the harm in this case would not be outweighed by the public benefits of the scheme.”
Inevitably, there has been a pre-application consultation and this will be followed by a new application.
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