Grantham

Churchyard tree to be cut back… as it interferes with government’s emergency services network

This story is over

A churchyard tree is set to be chopped down after the reverend was told that it was interfering with the government’s emergency services network.

All Saints’ Church in the village of Hough-on-the-Hill, between Grantham, Sleaford and Newark, has submitted plans to reduce the size of its Wellingtonia to provide improved emergency telecom service.

Reverend Stuart Hadley, in submitting the plans, said: “The parochial church council has been approached by WHP Telecoms Ltd who act for EE/Hutchinson/3G networks to reduce the tree in height by some four metres from the present height of 70 metres.

“At present, the tree is interrupting signal between the dishes which carry the government’s emergency service network or ESN.”

The government’s emergency services mobile communications programme will provide the next generation communication system for police, fire and rescue, and ambulance.

This system, called the emergency services network (ESN), is described by the government as being “a mobile communications network with extensive coverage, high resilience, appropriate security and public safety functionality”.

Main contracts for the ESN were awarded in December 2015.

The service began in July 2017, and the full transition should be complete by 2020.

The planning application has been submitted to South Kesteven District Council, who will consider it at a later date.