Surprise over phone mast victory

DAN GRIMMER
27 February 2007 09:11

Families fighting plans for a mobile phone mast won an unexpected victory when councillors went against the recommendation of officers to reject the plans.

More than 80 people wrote to South Norfolk Council to object to plans for an 11.7 metre T-Mobile mast on land opposite the Crown pub in Norwich Road, Costessey.

Families living close to the proposed mast were concerned about the visual impact such a large structure would have in the area, while there were also fears about the possible heath effects on those living closest to the mast and on pupils at nearby Costessey Infant School.

But despite the strength of feeling against the mast planning officers at South Norfolk Council had made recommendations to the planning committee that it be approved when they met yesterday. However, councillors decided to reject the proposal because it would have been an eyesore - to the delight of campaigners, including South Norfolk councillor Tim East.

Mr East said: “I'm absolutely delighted that the planning committee unanimously decided to reject T-Mobile's application for a phone mast at Norwich Road on the grounds that they thought it was detrimental to the visual amenities of the area.”

Pauline Wilkinson, who has lived on Norwich Road, Costessey, with her husband John for more than 30 years, said she was surprised the mast had ever been recommended for approval given all the opposition to it. “It's a very busy area close to a number of shops, with cars, a pedestrian crossing and all the associated furniture, two large trees - I just couldn't see how sticking something else there was going to improve the area. I don't really see that there's a need for a mast there.”

Mrs Wilkinson said she had been concerned about the possible health effects on people living in the area, particularly the children who went to the school on Beaumont Road.

As the Evening News reported earlier this month, the small strip of grass where the mast was to be sited had been earmarked by parish councillors as a natural spot for a village sign and flower beds to create an attractive centre for New Costessey. 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 to stop a phone mast in your area? Call Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2007 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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