The Line and people power

THE LINE

North Wales Pioneer 09.02.06

PEOPLE power has forced Vodafone to shelve controversial mobile phone mast proposals.

The mobile phone giant is set to abandon plans to erect a three-metre antenna on top of the North Wales Badminton Centre, in a heavily-populated residential area of Deganwy.

Householders feared the mast would have an impact on their health and would cause house prices to plummet.

But now, they have forced Vodafone into a rethink. And after conducting further tests, the communications company are pursuing an alternative site in the town.

Delighted campaigners, however, have greeted the news with ‘cautious optimism’.

They are insisting that any alternative venue for the 3G mast should be set away from residental areas.

Yesterday, Cllr Mike Priestly, who along with fellow Cllr Barry Owen has opposed the mast from the onset, described it as a victory for democracy, but wanted the switch confirmed in writing.

“Public pressure has swayed them away from it,” said Cllr Priestly. “I am ecstatic, absolutely over the moon. I still want it in writing, so I am still a little cautious welcoming it. If they are listening to democracy, then it is just great news all round.

“But they will still be looking for another site in that area and it has to be away from the residents.

John Hurn, whose property overlooks the badminton centre,spearheaded the opposition to the project. He said that he was glad that sense had prevailed. “I don’t really care the reason why they have decided against it,” he said. “I am just glad they have decided against it and that sense has prevailed. It is not a sensible place to have a mast right in the middle of a built up area.”

Jane Frapwell, of Vodafone, said that the move reflected the company’s community-minded approach: “We took on board what the local community thought, so we decided to do another sweep of the immediate area to see if we could find another site.

“It is still in the early stages, but it is looking promising. We always try to take on board the views of the community, because they are our customers, too.

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