Defeat for 'trampled on' anti-mast campaigners

Feb 9 2006

NEIGHBOURS have lost a battle to stop a 30-foot high mobile phone mast being built in their back yard.

The mast will be built at the junction of Tippings Lane and Lunds Farm Road, Woodley, just yards from a bus stop used by Waingel's College pupils.

For two years residents have staged protests against mobile phone network Orange, which says it needs the mast to sort out the current reception blackspot in the Woodley area.

Maidenhead MP Theresa May backed neighbours' demonstration last March when more than 30 protesters took to the streets armed with placards and more than 100 people signed a petition.

But Orange successfully appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol which gave the mast its backing.

South Lane Lib Dem council-lor Coling Lawley said: "For these appeals a dedicated inspector comes out and has a look at the site.

"They then make a decision as to whether the council were right or wrong to refuse the application."

Alan Alderman, of Tippings Lane, said: "There's not much to say except that we're obviously very disappointed.

"It's a good example of the way local opinion and local government gets trampled on and railroaded by one person sitting in an office hundreds of miles away.

"The local and district councillors were anti, but Orange were very clever. They put in three applications, and claimed they were bending over backwards for us.

"They do not actually need the capacity. The Orange reception here is very good."

Cllr Lawley said: "Three times in the course of about two years we successfully managed to get this turned down.

"The government have put in guidelines so we were complaining on the fact that it was by a bus stop, and on a safe route to school."

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Plc 2006

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