A TELECOMMS giant has been refused planning permission to install phone masts in the towers of a listed Bradford mill.

Heritage officers at Bradford Council said an application to renew the masts installed on Grade II listed Legrams Mill, on Legrams Lane, would “harm the architectural elegance” of the former spinning mill.

The application had been submitted by Conrnerstone on behalf of Telefonica (O2) and would have seen existing masts, located inside the two towers on the mill, replaced my masts fixed to the outside of the towers.

Applicants O2 said the masts were needed to improve coverage in the Shearbridge area of the city, and are “considering their options” in light of the refusal.

The mill is currently home to a banqueting suite business and flats.

Council blocks plans to demolish listed mill building after history groups object

The building was designed by Lockwood & Mawson - the architects behind some of Bradford’s most striking buildings.

Referring to the building’s design, Bradford Council’s Heritage Office Jon Ackroyd said: “The dominant features are the two open stone belvedere towers, with paired apertures to each aspect, under a shallow pyramidal roof.

“These are a ‘signature’ feature of Lockwood & Mawson mills, evident on Salts Mill and formerly on Drummonds Mill.

“Whilst there are existing installations to the towers, these are few in number and sited within the open apertures.

“It appears the new antennae would be fixed to the outer corners of the towers, making them noticeably more apparent, they would thus project out from the form of the turret and disrupt the visual lines of the structures. The installations will harm the architectural elegance and form of the turrets, which are one of the principal architectural features and landmarks of the building.

“No appreciable public benefit is evident to offset the harm which would result from installation.”

After his advice, planning officers have refused the application, saying: “The application fails to properly consider the impact of the development on the heritage asset.”

After the refusal a spokesman for O2 said: “O2 customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel.

“Base stations are low powered devices which cover approximately half a mile in radius, therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers.

“O2 identified that they need to improve coverage to their customers in Shearbridge area and proposed upgrading an existing rooftop mast site on a Mill in Legrams Lane.

“Unfortunately the local planning authority have refused permission to proceed with the works due to potential impact on this listed building.

“We are considering our options here and remain committed to delivering the latest services to the Legrams Lane area.”