Concerns about new phone masts discussed at Hawes Parish Council meeting


Gayle Institute was full for the meeting of Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council on January 30 as residents were concerned about planning and highway issues, as well as a proposed telecommunications base station and tower at Black Hill Moss in Cotterdale.

Planning. – The council assured residents that it will report their concerns to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) about the application to convert a garage workshop at Fell View in Hawes Market Place into a one-bedroom dwelling for local occupancy or holiday let. This would involve increasing the height of the building and neighbours have stated this will block the light to their lounge.

Residents also said that there was no outside space owned by the property and this would cause significant access problems.

Highways. – The poor condition and lack of information about the ownership of The Hill opposite the White Hart in Hawes were again discussed.

It was reported that the steps were in disrepair and the top half was full of potholes. The potholes in the lower part had been filled in but not before a drain was blocked with debris.  White lines showing a ‘keep clear area’ had been painted by someone unknown and it was agreed that, as these are not legal, they must be removed.

A resident had reported that a piece of land at The Holme was in poor condition. The clerk had written to the Lord Trustees of the Manor who have confirmed that, although they own the land, maintenance was the responsibility of the county highways department.

Telecommunications masts. – There was also concern about the detrimental effects of the proposed installation of telecommunications base stations and towers at Black Hill Moss in Cotterdale and at Cam Houses.

Mike Sparrow told the council that their concerns included the safety of the towers, impact upon the health of residents, and the detrimental effect on the Pennine Way and wildlife.

David Colley, who lives in Cotterdale, told the parish council there had been a lack of consultation with residents in that dale. He said the disturbance to wildlife was a concern, and he asked if the tower would require navigation lights due to low flying aircraft.

Cllr Emma Blades advised that a lot of the area around Cotterdale had no or very poor mobile phone coverage which was a matter of concern in an emergency situation. The council agreed that, in principle, it would like more mobile coverage in the Cotterdale and Cam Houses areas but acknowledged the concerns of those at the meeting.

North Yorkshire councillor Yvonne Peacock said she would ask that the application for the installation in Cotterdale should be discussed by the YDNPA’s planning committee. That at Cam Houses will be discussed further by the parish council when WHP Telecoms makes a formal application.

Dales Watch. – The council was informed that the poor telecommunications reception in the area meant that the Upper Wensleydale Dales Watch could not rely on mobile phones. And now its volunteers no longer had access to police radios.

They had asked the three parish councils in the area to consider funding new radios at a cost of £853.99. It was agreed that the Watch was needed and that the parish council could make a donation of £300. The clerk was asked to liaise with the clerks of the other parish councils.

Play areas. – It was agreed to contact the YDNPA to see if it could include the repair of the boundary wall near Beulah Bank at the Gayle Lane play park in one of its drystone walling projects for volunteers.

A resident had reported that their property had been flooded due to a culvert which crosses Hawes play park being blocked. The clerk will contact the owner of the land about this.

The slide at the play park has been taped off as it requires repairing. Cllr David Stephenson volunteered to sort out the mess in the picnic area and to get the gate repaired.

Next meeting. – At the meeting in Gayle Institute at 7pm on Tuesday March 26 a new councillor will be co-opted. It was reported that two applications had been received for the vacancy and that interviews will be held as soon as possible.