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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 09/07/2002
Siting of Telecommunications Mast Godalming & Guildford Football Club, Meadrow, Godalming



This report seeks authority for a licence to sub-let part of the area leased to Godalming and Guildford Football Club for the purposes of erecting a telecommunications mast. Resource and environmental implications are referred to in the report.
APPENDIX P

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 9TH JULY 2002
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Title:
SITING OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS MAST
GODALMING & GUILDFORD FOOTBALL CLUB
MEADROW, GODALMING

[Ward Affected: Godalming NE & SW ]
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Summary and Purpose

This report seeks authority for a licence to sub-let part of the area leased to Godalming and Guildford Football Club for the purposes of erecting a telecommunications mast. Resource and environmental implications are referred to in the report.
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Introduction & Background

1. Godalming and Guildford Football Club have a lease of land at Broadwater Park as shown outlined on the annexed Plan 1. They have constructed floodlights for the pitch. Hutchinson 3G is a Telecommunications Code System Operator and has been granted a licence by the Government for the next generation of telecommunications equipment. They are required under the terms of this licence to provide effective coverage of at least 80 % of the population. In order to meet this requirement, they have requested to install this equipment on the top of the floodlight in the location marked by an “X”. They do not require planning permission for this installation. The Club is requesting a licence for the works and for the consequential subletting from the Council.

2. Under the terms of the lease to the Club, which is for 28 years from 1979, the Council is required to grant consent both for the subletting and for the alterations within a reasonable time. This consent is not to be unreasonably withheld. Normally, a subletting would be dealt with under delegated powers. However, given the public concern over the siting of telecommunications masts, it was considered appropriate to refer the matter to the Executive. Any such licence would be restricted to the proposal as outlined in Andrew Wilkes and Associates’ letter of 1st May and shown in the annexed Plan 2 to prevent the installation proliferating in masts/antennae or increasing in power. Waverley is not entitled to receive any consideration for the grant of this licence.

3. The former Policy and Resources Committee, on 4th April 2000, determined that each application for siting of telecommunications masts on Waverley land should be decided on its merits.

4. Whilst Waverley is unable to require Hutchinson 3G to undertake a local consultation exercise, the company will be strongly advised to do so in order to ensure that the public is kept fully informed of their proposals.


Resource/Environmental Implications

5. The grant of a licence for subletting and alterations involves some officer time.

6. Hutchinson has confirmed that the proposed mast will operate in accordance with the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines for public exposure to radio frequency radiation emissions.

7. The Government established an Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones which reported in April 2000. The report concluded that the balance of evidence suggested that exposures to levels below the ICNIRP guidelines do not cause adverse health effects to the general population, though there can be no absolute guarantee as to there being no possible adverse health risks. By limiting the licence to the present proposal only and ensuring that all further increases in either masts or power are to be approved by Waverley, an element of control can be retained by the Council.

8. The mast and associated works constitute permitted development under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2001 and therefore do not require planning permission.

9. Waverley’s lawyers have considered the implications of the request in connection with the lease to the Football Club. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988, the Council must respond to the tenant’s request to sub-let within a reasonable time. If the Council unreasonably withholds consent to the subletting, the tenant may obtain a court declaration that consent has been unreasonably withheld.

Conclusion

10. Given the evidence provided by the Government and the planning status of the works, it is difficult to see how the Council could reasonably withhold consent to the subletting and alterations.

Recommendation

It is recommended that having regard to the particular circumstances of this case, the Godalming and Guildford Football Club be granted consent for a licence to sublet to Hutchinson 3G and for alterations to the floodlight shown by an “X” on the annexed plan to provide a telecommunications mast with associated equipment, the terms and conditions to be agreed by the Property and Development Manager, subject to the restrictions referred to in this report.

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Background Papers (DoP&D)

Letter from Andre Wilkes and Associates Limited dated 1.5.2002
Letter from Godalming and Guildford Football Club dated 4.6.2002
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Ailsa Rhodes Telephone: 01483 523459
Email: arhodes@waverley.gov.uk


comms/executive/2002-03/075 28876