Mast bid reinstated by Government

DAVID BALE
12 February 2007 08:51

Campaigners fear an unwelcome precedent has been set after Government bosses overturned a council's refusal of a mobile phone mast.

Broadland District Council's refusal to allow mobile phone giant 02 to build a 12.5 metre mast on the verge in Dussindale Drive, Thorpe St Andrew, has been overturned on appeal.

The application was originally turned down by the council last year amid fears the mast would have a detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the site, and upon neighbouring properties in Lynn Close and Newcastle Avenue.

Issue was also raised over safety concerns.

However, the planning inspectorate dismissed the refusal, stating there was little evidence to support health fears and that emissions from the mast would be within international guidelines.

Now campaigner Andy Street fears the decision will put more pressure on the authority to approve two other controversial plans.

T-Mobile wants to install a 12m mast, plus telecommunications equipment and cabinets, on the island at the junction of the Ring Road and Pound Lane, opposite Sainsbury's and a pre-application consultation on plans by Vodafone to put six dishes on the existing St William's Way mast, to improve its mobile phone network in the area, ended on Friday .

Mr Street, 69, of Eastern Avenue, Thorpe, said: “It puts more pressure on the council to approve these two new plans.

“In the future if there seems to be a need for a mast it will be very difficult for our council to turn it down, especially if it is going to get overturned in appeal.

“Our concern is that it is the commercial power of the phone mast companies and not the needs of these service users that are driving this. Health and the public's increased stress do not seem to matter. In a democracy we should go with the majority, and most people do not want more masts.”

Mr Street and other campaigners are urging people to attend Thorpe Council's planning committee meeting at the Dussindale centre in Pound Lane at 7.30pm tonight when the mast near Sainsbury's will be discussed.

Comments on either plan can be sent to Broadland District Council up until February 15.

The Evening News has campaigned against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe through our Put Masts on Hold campaign

Are you fighting against a mobile phone mast? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or e-mail david.bale2 @archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2007 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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