‘Sneaky’ phone firm moves

Angry residents in Shenley have described a phone company as underhand' and sneaky' after failing to take down a mast it had been ordered to remove this week.

Hertsmere Borough Council issued an enforcement notice for T-Mobile to remove the temporary mast at London Colney Cricket Club in Green Street by Wednesday. But, after the company removed the mast from the enforcement zone, it was erected again just outside the specified area.

Samantha Gee, 37, from London Road, Shenley, said: "I am very dissapointed that they have done whatever they want to do again. It shows that the council does not have any power to stop them. It certainly does not restore my faith in the system. It is an underhand way of dealing with this. It is just sneaky."

The temporary mast was erected nearly four years ago after a mast on Shenley Water Tower, in Porters Park estate, had to be removed when renovation work started on the building at the beginning of 2003. Another mast, owned by O2, was given permission for the cricket ground because it was to be shared with the emergency services.

Shenley councillor Rosemary Gilligan said: "It was so obvious that they T-Mobile have been playing the system until the technology changed to allow them to share the O2 airwaves mast. They have now taken it out of the enforcement zone but have moved it, saying it is an emergency. They have had more than a year to plan the removal of the mast, so how can they say it is an emergency?

"It is definitely a matter that the council is going to take really seriously. I think enough is enough and I am really cross they have blatantly taken advantage of the system. T-Mobile has really taken it to the limit and the council is going to make sure they abide by the decision of the inspectors."

Hertsmere planning officer Chris Lewcock said: "We are exploring the legal implications of this with our advisers. But we are somewhat dissappointed with T-Mobile's approach to this matter."

A spokeswoman for T-Mobile said: "T-Mobile has fully complied with enforcement notice issued and will be looking for an alternative site for a permanent mast in the area, to ensure a high level of service for our customers."

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