CONTROVERSIAL plans for a 17m high radio mast to be erected in Ilkley have been withdrawn after Ilkley MP Robbie Moore voiced concerns directly with telecoms company Clarke Telecom about the location of the mast.

The plans, which included the installation of a telecommunications mast and power cabinets on Grove Road, caused huge concern among local residents due to the site in question being a designated memorial park and located near to a children’s nursery.

The applicant Clarke Telecom had initially wished to push ahead with its plans, but Mr Moore raised his and his constituents’ written complaints directly with planners at the company on Tuesday and called the proposals “completely ill-judged”.

The applicant announced the next day that the application was being withdrawn with a view of finding a more suitable location.

Speaking after the news, Robbie Moore MP said: "It is extremely welcome to hear that plans for the 17m tall mast, with accompanying cabinets that were to be located on the memorial garden adjoining Grove Road and Wilton Road in Ilkley have been withdrawn.

"Whilst I support the need to make sure that residents across Ilkley have access to 4G and 5G networks, the proposed location for the mast was completely and utterly ill-judged, with the proposed site located right next to a Children’s Nursery and on a site designated as a memorial park for over seventy years.

"On Tuesday, I raised these concerns directly with Clarke Telecom alongside correspondence I have received from residents from across Grove Road and the surrounding area.

"I therefore welcome Clarke Telecom’s decision to u-turn on these plans and will be exploring further proposals for alternative sites. We need to make sure that future projects have the support of residents before going ahead."

District councillor Andrew Loy (Conservative, Ilkley & Ben Rhydding), who also objected to the location of the proposed mast, said: “I made clear to Clarke Telecom that the application was wholly inappropriate for such an attractive and historic site at the heart of the Ilkley Conservation Area. I am grateful to the many residents who contacted me with their own strong concerns. 

“I am cautiously optimistic to hear that the application has been withdrawn. No doubt a new application will be submitted, so I hope a more appropriate site will be considered.”

Ilkley Town Council had also voiced strong objections to the plans, along with many local residents.