DCAN 14: Siting and Design of Radio Telecommunication Equipment
Blending In and Disgusing Equipment
3.9 There is a range of techniques to blend equipment in with its surroundings and scope for creative and imaginative solutions. Most radio telecommunications equipment can be painted to match its background. This can often be an effective means of reducing contrast. Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) can be moulded into any shape, coloured or painted to disguise or conceal equipment. It can be designed to match the texture and colour of a building or shape of an architectural feature, such as a chimney or stone plinth. Antennas can also be incorporated into flagpoles or sculptural elements attached to buildings.
3.10 Antennas and other equipment can be blended in and disguised as street furniture, such as street lighting. Such installations need to respect the townscape qualities of an area, particularly where it is of historic or architectural value. Care must be taken to avoid creating street furniture clutter, which would limit the freedom of movement of pedestrians, particularly those with mobility difficulties.
3.11 There are a number of mast designs that attempt to look like trees. They can however appear incongruous if poorly sited or designed. They are less likely to contrast with the landscape if they;
- replicate a type of tree common in the area;
- are sited within or next to a group of real trees;
- are associated with new tree planting where no groups of trees are available or existing planting needs supplementing;
- minimise the visual impact of the equipment housing and fencing.
3.12 It may be possible for public works of art to be commissioned which incorporate antennas or complete radio base stations. They can enhance the landscape and strengthen the identity of a place. Possible locations for public art are:
- in squares and plazas;
- alongside major transport routes; or
- at transport intersections, such as roundabouts.
An example of a tree mast