Mast scheme sparks anger

Planners are tomorrow expected to give the go-ahead to a phone mast on top of the BT building in Whiting Street, despite angry protests from nearby residents. Vodafone has applied to put up three aerials on the building and St Edmundsbury Borough Council's development control committee is being recommended by officers to give approval at tomorrow's meeting.

More than 30 letters of objection have been sent to the council, while ward councillor Paul Farmer has received a petition signed by 70 residents.

"This issue has come back like a bad penny, but it never fails to unite local people," said Cllr Farmer.

"I am surprised and disappointed by this recommendation, as I am sure local residents will be."

He said previous applications, in 2000 and 2003, had been refused by the council and dismissed by an inspector on appeal.

Concerns by residents include fears that granting permission will discourage redevelopment of the building. The proposal would also create a precedent for further telecommunication equipment to be installed and it would also spoil the skyline.

Other sites examined for the antennae were the cathedral tower, Bury Town Football Club, Greene King brewery, the St Edmundsbury Borough Council offices and properties in the town centre, including the former JobCentre.

Vodafone wants to install the masts as part of its UK network to improve mobile phone coverage for the town centre and points out the installation conforms to safety guidelines.

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under: //omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/

Bury MP David Ruffley said: "This recommendation shows absolutely no regard for the wishes of local residents and the serious concerns local councillors and I have expressed."

01 March 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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