A veteran’s plan to indulge his passion for radio with a 11m antenna in his garden have been dashed by Wiltshire Council.

Robert Coleman had applied for retrospective planning permission for the retractable antenna and mast in his back garden in Nepaul Road, Tidworth, to allow him to continue as an amateur radio hobbyist. However, neighbours had objected to the “unattractive and unsightly” structure, with additional concerns over safety.

Following consideration, the antenna was rejected by Wiltshire Council, who said it was an “incongruous and unsympathetic addition” to the area, and was “unneighbourly” to nearby residents.

The exact date of the structure’s erection is unclear. A letter from a neighbour who was not opposed to the plans claim that it was in place by 2015, but other neighbours claim that the current mast was erected much later, with only a small structure in place six years ago.

Complaints over the mast in 2019 led to council planning officers informing the applicant that he would need to apply for planning permission. An initial application in 2020 was withdrawn when it became clear the forms were “invalid”, leading to the current application.

Robert Coleman said that the mast and its three antennas were designed “to have as low a possible impact as they can”. He said that the hobby was one of few open to him, adding: “Due to various spinal surgeries, I am unable to play the sports I used to love. Radio communication is one of the few hobbies I can do and it plays a large part in keeping me mentally healthy, especially in the last year”.

However, while sympathising with his hobby, some neighbours had objected to the antenna ‘extending over their property’, with “concerns over danger in a storm” that it could “fall onto parked cars causing damage”.

In response, the applicant said there was “no right to a view” and that the mast would be retracted in bad weather to prevent any risk.

Following consideration by planning officers, the mast was rejected on the grounds it would have “an adverse impact” on neighbours and views of the area. Robert Coleman can now choose to appeal the application moving forward.