Councillors granted retrospective permission for the installation of a six-metre pole to supply a high-speed IT connection on the north Northumberland coast – but with significant amendments.
The proposal, for land south of Budle Barns, is to supply an internet connection for holiday accommodation across Budle Bay.
The scheme for what the planning officer described as ‘an alien urbanised structure in an otherwise rural landscape’, which would feature a small wind turbine and PV panel, was recommended for refusal at last week’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.
But following questions to the planning officer and hearing representations from the agent, Mark Swearman, who described it as ‘a sledgehammer to crack a walnut’, a narrow majority – five votes to four – of members agreed to approve an amended scheme.
Coun Georgina Hill said: “Why are we bending over backward for this applicant?”
The changes would see the pole painted brown or green, the anti-climb spikes removed and the solar panels mounted on the ground rather than towards the top.