Police given the go-ahead for 30m radio mast

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PLANS to construct a 30 metre police telecommunications mast have been given the go-ahead despite objections.

Suffolk Police have won approval from St Edmundsbury Borough Council for the steel construction, which is to be built in the courtyard of the force’s station, in Raingate Street, Bury.

It is required to serve their communications network and needs to be that high to clear nearby trees and ‘see’ another mast at the British Sugar factory.

However, several groups raised concerns over the visual impact of the structure.

The Bury Society argued that the view of the Cathedral Tower would be ‘compromised’ from Rougham Road.

Chairman Alan Jary said they were ‘disappointed’ with the decision as it was ‘one more item in the overcrowded vista’ across land known as No Man’s Meadows and the Leg of Mutton.

Cllr Bob Cockle, chairman of Bury Town Council, said: “Some of the residents in that particular ward were concerned about the visual impact.”

He also questioned why the mast was needed in a time when cuts were being made to the police force.

Planning officers said the operational needs of the police should be ‘weighed against the visual impacts’ and such a mast was a ‘reasonable expectation’ in an urban environment.

They added that the structure would be ‘partially screened’ from the surroundings by buildings on the site including the three-storey station while its open framework would ‘help diffuse the visual impact’.

Meanwhile, there would be ‘limited’ effect on views looking north from Rougham Road.