CONTROVERSIAL plans to site a 5G telecommunications mast the height of four double decker buses at the ‘main tourist route’ into Skipton have been thrown out by Craven District Council.

Hutchison 3G UK submitted a ‘prior approval notification’ - part of permitted development legislation - to the council for an 18m, just under 60ft, monopole with ‘wraparound’ cabinet in Gargrave Road, almost directly opposite the war memorial garden at the entrance to Aireville Park.

The application sparked a flood of opposition from residents and also from councillors, all claiming it was being proposed for the wrong place and would detract from an important and attractive entrance into town. The council today (Tuesday) officially refused the prior notification application, which means work cannot now take place.

In its decision notice, the council said the proposed mast was against policies in the Craven Local Plan. "It is considered that the siting and appearance of the proposed 18 metre monopole with wraparound cabinet at base and ancillary works, would have a detrimental impact on the amenity of nearby residents, would form an incongruous and overly dominant feature within the street scene that is out of character with the surrounding conservation area."

A petition of residents in the area around Gargrave Road was signed by 150 people, and delivered to the council earlier today, while more than 20 people put in objection comments on the council planning application website.

Town councillor, John Dawson, said: "The application was refused by Craven Council after a great campaign by local residents supported by Craven district, town councillors and the county councillor.

"I was part of that and am delighted at the result. The mast would have been totally inappropriate at this site, probably the worst possible site for such a mast in Skipton."