A new application for a mobile communications mast for Horrabridge has now officially been made and there are indications it is likely to be approved.
Planning application 0045/18 was registered on the Dartmoor National Park Authority website today (Friday Jan 26) but no documentation has yet been posted.
However, the site appears to be the downhill grass patch at the corner of Graybridge Road and the main road, the A368.
The mast would be 12.5 metres high (40 feet).
The application is made by Vodafone on behalf of itself and international giant Telefonica, trading in the UK as O2.
O2 clients include Giffgaff, Tesco and Sky, and the Vodafone network is used by Talk Mobile and some smaller players.
The mast would not serve customers of EE, which serves some old Orange customers, Asda, BT Mobile, Plusnet, Virgin Mobile and the Co-op.
The other major provider – also NOT part of this deal – is Three.
The proposed new mast would cover a radius of about half a mile and is the only one currently in the pipeline for the village
Last year, the Dartmoor NPA turned down an application for Fillace Park by an industry front organisation called Shared Access, which represented Vodafone and O2. It is not clear whether any other operators would have been able to use that one. Shared Access will not comment, “as a matter of policy”. But the Horrabridge Recreation Field Trust recently heard that the Shared Access application will not be resubmitted anyway.
The Shared Access mast would have been worth £20,000 to the village but Dartmoor NPA opposed it on principle, because it was within the national park boundary.
So is the new mast.
But since the No to Fillace Park, the Development Committee of the park authority has turned against the no-masts policy, according to the new edition of The Moorlander, and given permission for two new masts at North Bovey and South Brent.
The new Horrabridge site appears to belong to Devon Highways and they will collect any rental involved.
Details will probably be published on the Dartmoor NPA site on Monday and the application is now open for comments.
The chairman of the Recreation Fields Trust, Andy Stewart, has already commented as follows …
“If Dartmoor National Park are minded to grant this application, which will entail a mast visible to around 90% of the village, then it must call into question – and possible Judicial Review – a decision to refuse a previous application for a mast which would have been visible to less than 5% of the village, and which would have benefited a village organisation and not a fellow authority.”