Mobile firm branded ‘time wasters’

Published: 25th January 2006

COMMUNICATIONS giant Vodafone has been criticised as a "time-waster" after a third application to put up a mobile phone mast on Bedells Lane was rejected.

The company wants to put the 15-metre mast up near to the King’s Arms roundabout in Wilmslow but has already had its plans turned down twice.

Initially it had applied to site the mast near to the roundabout but was defeated by planners after objections from councillors, residents, businesses, the Curzon Mews Residents Association and Cheshire County Council’s Highways department.

The company chose not to appeal and submitted a further application to Macclesfield Borough Council in June 2005 with the mast moved further up Bedells Lane, opposite the electricity substation.

However, this was again turned down because it was viewed to be unacceptably obtrusive and visually detrimental.

A third application lodged in November has now been refused after officers decided it would be an unwelcome intrusion on the skyline and harm the character of the area.

The mast would have a tri-sector antenna standing next to a large equipment cabinet, which Vodafone claims is necessary to increase 2G and 3G cover within the largely residential area of Wilmslow.

Wilmslow Hough Conservative Councillor Andrew Stephenson welcomed the decision and branded the company "time wasters". Having failed a third time he urged Vodafone to look elsewhere to site the mast.

He said: "I am pleased to say that planning permission for this mast has been refused, however it does not come as a surprise.

"This proposal was little changed from the previous application and I’m dismayed that Vodafone don’t appear to have taken on board the concerns we expressed over their last application."

He added: "Residents are deeply concerned about plans to erect another mast in this part of Wilmslow where there are already four masts in the immediate vicinity.

"It is unthinkable that a fifth freestanding mast should even be considered and I would urge Vodafone to explore all other possibilities, before submitting another application.

"We all want to be able to use mobile phones, but that doesn’t mean we should allow 15metre high masts in densely populated residential areas."

Catherine Mountford

First published by the Wilmslow Express

//www.thewilmslowexpress.co.uk/news/s/208/208544_mobile_firm_branded_time_wasters.html

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