Plans to install a 15-metre telecommunications mast on a hill near Bishop’s Castle to help improve mobile phone signal in the Powys border area have been refused by planners.

The application submitted by one of the UK’s leading mobile infrastructure services companies Cornerstone was refused after Shropshire planners felt it would be a “dominant, obtrusive and incongruous feature adversely impacting on the character and appearance of the locality”.

Shropshire Council also said the proposed works on Mucklewick Hill would have “significant detrimental impact on the landscape and visual amenity as well as on recreational use of the hill and the wildness enjoyed by visitors to the Shropshire Hills National Landscape and despite the benefits engendered by improved mobile network coverage may also contribute to a reduction in visitor numbers with corresponding impacts on local businesses”.

Shropshire Council said that while it recognises the difficulties of finding suitable sites, “it has not been satisfactorily demonstrated that the benefit of improving the choice of 4G network coverage and capacity outweighs these identified harmful impacts or whether the benefits could be achieved by siting in a different location or by a different approach.”


Britain’s oldest national conservation body The Open Spaces Society said it is delighted that council planners have rejected the application for a 15-metre-high telecommunications mast on the hill which is 15 miles south-west of Shrewsbury, and six miles north-east of Bishop's Castle.

The society, the Shropshire Area of the Ramblers, and local people combined to argue that this is a well-walked and ridden area, with outstanding all-round views which would have been obstructed by a disfiguring metal tower.

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A footpath and bridleway cross the hill, and many visitors climb to the summit to enjoy the panorama as well as the feeling of freedom and fresh air.

Marion Law, the Open Spaces Society’s local correspondent for Shropshire, said: "The mast would have desecrated this magnificent landscape, it was to be surrounded by a 1.5-metre-high security fence, with a new track onto the hill, and an electricity supply.

"Its rejection is a win for local people and visitors alike, and we are pleased to have helped protect this area for the benefit of all who love to go there for informal recreation."