5G Mast at Barton Lane Objection

Objection – 5G Mast at Barton Lane

22/01096/T56 | Application for prior approval to install a monopole with a wraparound cabinet at base, 3no additional ancillary equipment cabinets and associated ancillary works. (Amended address). | Land At Barton Lane Oxford Oxfordshire OX3 9JW

How To Object

Object either by direct link Oxford City Council (OCC)  link: or via Oxford City Council Planning Site Ref: 22/01096/T56 or mailing comments to:


NOTE: A Call-In is NOT possible with this type of application, so this is the last chance to stop this!



    • Proposal is contrary to multiple policies in the NPPF, Oxford Local Plan, Headington Plan and the Old Headington Conservation Appraisal
    • “Significant Harm” will be done to the Old Headington Conservation Area (OHCA), a designated heritage asset – the site is NOT in the surroundings but within it
    • Barton Lane is a rural, partially sunken lane IN the countryside with orchard and fields on either side, one of only two places (Stoke Place) remaining in the OHCA 
    • Will impact on OHCA “significant” defined view lines out of the village, both along Barton Lane and from Bury Knowle Park where a rare glimpse of countryside can still be seen
    • Will negate the purchase of land by the Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT) of Barton Triangle Field to preserve the green surrounds
    • Reduces many of the positive characteristics Identified in the Old Headington Conservation Appraisal (OHCA 2011, OCC) and realises many of the threats 
    • No heritage impact assessment has been provided, rendering the application invalid

Barton Lane

Barton Lane runs though a last remaining patch of rural countryside with the Barton Triangle Field to the north and an orchard with an agricultural wooden gate to the south, one of only four remaining, at the exact point where the 5G mast will be installed.

Barton Lane runs into the village from the north east to this focal point, it has only a minor role in the frontages in the conservation area but provides access to the green setting of the village. It follows a sinuous course that runs between steep grassed banks with a rural character…

Despite its location within the city, the village has thus far retained a rural setting in the form of small fields to the north, as well as visual connection with the countryside beyond the ring road. Views from Barton Lane or the northern edge of Bury Knowle Park and the bridleway at Stoke Place include the small fields within the conservation area as a rural foreground.. 

The grass banks and verges on several routes in the conservation area, including Osler Road, Barton Lane and Dunstan Road make a similar contribution and help to maintain the ‘ring of green space’ that separates the village core from the surrounding suburban development. (Source: OHCA)

Effect on Immediate Surroundings

The mast will be clearly visible from Barton Lane, the Barton Triangle, and from Bury Knowle Park as identified in the OHCA assessment above:

Barton Lane – 5G Mast – Looking West to Emden House and Old Headington
Barton Lane – 5G Mast – Looking East out of Village
Rural Surroundings Preserved with 5 bar Gate – Site is just beyond Parking Signage
Rural Surroundings Preserved with 5 bar Gate – Site is just out of Sight
View North From Bury Knowle Park Tennis Courts – Last Rural Glimpse Ruined

Barton Triangle – OPT

This field was purchased by the Oxford Preservation Trust OPT specifically to preserve the rural surroundings of Old Headington, the installation of a 5G Mast directly opposite would severely impact both on the purpose and effectiveness of this.

5G Mast – Relationship to OPT’s Barton Triangle Field – From OPT Google Map Site
The OPT’s Barton Triangle Field – 5G Mast Would Be Directly Behind Camera 

The “Green Belt” Of Old Headington

Old Headington is a “Village in a City” NOT a collection of old buildings. – Its preservation as such is dependent on the green surroundings which defines its morphology, urban clutter here would be unacceptable.

The area shown in GREEN below shows the “green belt” surrounding of the “Village in the city” which is still remarkably, with the exception of Old High Street, intact:

Aerial view showing 5G intrusion into the “green belt” of Old Headington

It is important to note the development is NOT affecting the surroundings of the Conservation Area it IS part of the designated heritage asset.


This is a list of the main policies the application contravenes.

NPPF Glossary

Heritage asset: A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. It includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing). 

Para 85 – it will be important to ensure that development is sensitive to its surroundings,

Permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions, taking into account any local design standards or style guides in plans or supplementary planning documents. 

Para 115 The number of radio and electronic communications masts, and the sites for such installations, should be kept to a minimum consistent with the needs of consumers, the efficient operation of the network and providing reasonable capacity for future expansion. Use of existing masts, buildings and other structures for new electronic communications capability (including wireless) should be encouraged. Where new sites are required (such as for new 5G networks, or for connected transport and smart city applications), equipment should be sympathetically designed and camouflaged where appropriate.

Para 117 c)  for a new mast or base station,evidence that the applicant has explored the possibility of erecting antennas on an existing building, mast or other structure 

Planning policies and decisions should ensure that developments: 

a) will function well and add to the overall quality of the area, not just for the short term but over the lifetime of the development; 

b) are visually attractive as a result of good architecture, layout and appropriate and effective landscaping;

c) are sympathetic to local character and history,including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting, while not preventing or discouraging appropriate innovation or change (such as increased densities);

d)  establish or maintain a strong sense of place, 

Para 194. In determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting.

Para 195. Local planning authorities should identify and assess the particular significance of any heritage asset that may be affected by a proposal (including by development affecting the setting of a heritage asset) taking account of the available evidence and any necessary expertise. They should take this into account when considering the impact of a proposal on a heritage asset, to avoid or minimise any conflict between the heritage asset’s conservation and any aspect of the proposal.

Para 201. Where a proposed development will lead to substantial harm to (or total loss of significance of) a designated heritage asset, local planning authorities should refuse consent, unless it can be demonstrated that the substantial harm or total loss is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss, or all of the following apply: 

Oxford Local Plan (2036)

The OHCA IS a designated heritage asset and this will do considerable harm to it, reduce it’s significance so is contrary to Policy DH3

DH1 – Policy DH1: High quality design and placemaking

Planning permission will only be granted for development of high quality design that creates or enhances local distinctiveness. 

Policy DH3: Designated heritage assets

responding positively to the significance character and distinctiveness of the heritage asset and locality . 

For all planning decisions for planning permission or listed building consent affecting the significance of designated heritage assets, great weight will be given to the conservation of that asset and to the setting of the asset where it contributes to that significance or appreciation of that significance.

In application for planning permission for development which would or may affect the significance of any designated heritage asset, either directly or by being within its setting, should be accompanied by a heritage assessment that includes a description of the asset and its significance and an assessment of the impact of the development proposed on the asset’s significance . As part of this process full regard should be given to the detailed character assessments and other relevant information set out any relevant conservation area appraisal and management plan.

Headington Neighbourhood Local Plan

In relation to the Headington Local Plan, a material consideration, it contravenes the following policies:




See below.

Old Headington Conservation Appraisal (OCC 2011)

The 5G mast would impact on two OHCA identified viewlines – one over Barton Triangle Field, and one along Barton Lane:

OHCA Spatial Map 2 – Black Arrows are Significant Viewlines

The following measures the proposal against the Conservation Area Appraisal and addresses the planning policies above.

Conservation Area AppraisalPositive?Comment
The greenery of the area is provided by a wealth of tall trees and other foliage, mostly in privately owned gardens.NODiscordant and urban
The width of roads, low scale of buildings and the close interrelationship of buildings with the roads contribute to the ambience of these intimate spaces.   NOIntimacy lost, 5G Mast is overbearing
Later infill development has largely been of a small scale and in-keeping with the village character of the area, or is otherwise discreetly placed to not intrude into views through it.  NONot in keeping, overbearing and intrusive 
The fragments of green fields within the conservation area contribute to the rural character of the village and provide a green setting with, hedges and hedgerow trees in views from roads and footpaths looking over to the rolling countryside of South Oxfordshire to the north.  NO View of the Barton Triangle severely impacted, ugly from Barton Lane.
The importance of these fields to the green setting of the village was recognised by the acquisition of several of them by Oxford Preservation Trust  NODirectly adjacent to the Barton Triangle (see below)
Positive Chars  
Lack of significant intrusion from later infill development  NOSignificant intrusion
Green surroundings provided by mature trees and gardens  NOViews impacted by 5G Mast
Green and open spaces contribute to rural character and setting  NORural character lost both looking from Barton Lane across Barton Triangle
Quality of views through the area Visual connection with the countryside  NOVisual connection severely impacted by 5G Mast
Development that undermines the distinctive character or appearance of the area NOSerious damage with insensitive infill and loss of view, threat realised
Loss of rural character through depletion of green open space, roadside verges and hedgerows and views out to rural setting  NOAs above
Spatial Analysis  
Much later 20th century development is inconspicuously located away from the main routes in small cul-de-sac developments. NOVery visible as above
Groupings of cottages in uneven sized plots and with gardens fronting the road in spaces between reflect the organic growth of settlement over several centuries and have a lack of uniformity that is part of the village character.NOThe form of the development is the precise antithesis, symmetrical, three identical houses, no connection whatever with the surroundings
Small fields cut-off from the wider countryside by the ring road provide the rural setting of the village.NOAs above
There are numerous significant views through, out of and into the conservation area which benefit from the framing of well defined street frontages, the focus on landmark buildings or grouped frontages, as well as vistas of formal parkland or out to the green setting.NOAs above
Rural Lanes  
These include interesting historic lanes with a rural character, such as Stoke Place, St Andrew’s Lane and Larkin’s LaneNOBarton Lane continues to retain a rural character with a paddock, Barton Triangle and 5 bar wooden gates
The mixture of building types in the village is an important part of its historic interest. As above
These buildings take a variety of forms but their agricultural purpose is normally readily understood by the onlooker as a result of original features such as their barn or stable doors, distinctive window forms and absence of lighting to upper floors or attics. As such, they make an important contribution to the rural character of the conservation area. NOA modern building here destroys the setting of the adjacent barn.
Materials, Style and Features  
Buildings of varying width, alignment and height reflect an organic process of development.NOunsympathic.
Use of local limestone or red brick for construction provides a locally distinctive character and establishes cohesion between buildings.NONo.
In the past, the lanes would have given access directly to surrounding fields and this impression is retained with the five bar gate at the bottom end of St Andrew’s Lane.NOPaddock gate remains 
Other features that contribute to the positively to the area’s character include the former farm buildings at Mather’s Farm (now Meadow Larkin’s) on Larkin’s Lane, which have now been converted into a dwelling.NOImpacted
the rural character of the area is maintained by the varying orientation of the buildings and the greenery in their surroundings which remains as an intimate rural area dominated by small limestone cottagesNOAs above
Green Fields  
The green spaces in this character area are important in views to the conservation area from outside its boundaries.No 
The lane follows a sinuous course with a series of views opening along its route.  Severely impacted
Oxford Preservation Trust manages some of these fields to preserve their contribution to the village’s green setting.NOBarton Triangle is adjacent.

Thank you


Headington Heritage

Saving Headington’s Heritage

A Personal Blog


Saving Headington’s Heritage
Visit  : www.headingtonheritage.org.uk

Visit  : headingtonheritage.wordpress.com

Email: headingheritage@outlook.com

Follow me on Twitter: @headingheritage 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJGrcWOjCV1ARRwUBoQhK5Q

Version 1.0 11/06/22