PLANS for a 36 metre telecommunications mast in the Lake District are set to be turned down.

Members of the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) development control committee are recommended to refuse a planning application from Cornerstone to construct a 36 metres tall tower at Lanty’s Tarn near Patterdale.

The proposal would offer both improved emergency service coverage and commercial coverage for the entire Grisedale Valley to the southwest and parts of Patterdale to the south, according to planning documents.

A report by planning officers states: “The proposals would however result in the addition of a large utilitarian and incongruous feature into a highly sensitive landscape setting.”

The proposed location is approximately 850m south of Glenridding and 473m west of Patterdale Hall – with the site being ‘almost entirely’ surrounded by mature trees.

Planning documents state: “The location has been chosen as the site will be able to fulfil its operational requirements whilst benefitting from extensive screening from the mature trees and topographical features.

“The public benefits of a greatly enhanced communications network for businesses, residents and visitors alike in this location would qualify as a substantial benefit with the change or impact on amenity or on the character of the area being considerably outweighed by the enhanced public benefits the scheme would deliver.”

The plans have received 49 objections which raise concerns that the proposal is ‘out of character’ with the rest of the area.

Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District said: “The development of the proposed communications mast would erode the sense of tranquillity by introducing a tall, vertical, intrusive and incongruous man-made communications structure.”

The proposals have received support from Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border who stated improving digital connectivity for his constituents has been a ‘key pillar’ of his campaigning in Parliament since his election.

Mr Hudson wrote: “I fully support the development of the Rural Shared Network. Across the whole of my constituency we are plagued with not spot areas, where families and businesses struggle to access any form of phone signal or broadband.

“Better digital connectivity for my constituents has been a key pillar of my campaigning in Parliament since my election. The issue is not going away and we must do whatever we can to improve outcomes for the residents of Penrith and The Border.”

The proposal is part of the government backed Shared Rural Network scheme which aims to improve 4G coverage for people living, working and travelling in rural areas which have little to no coverage.

A report by planning officers states: “On balance, it is not considered that the public benefits arising from the proposals are sufficient to outweigh the adverse landscape, visual and historic impacts identified.

“In reaching my conclusion I recognise that this is a matter of weight and balance that committee Members will need to form a judgement upon.”

Members of the development control committee for the LDNPA will discuss the application when they meet on May 1 at Murley Moss in Kendal.