Councillors block mast bid

PETER WALSH

15 March 2006 11:51

Parish councillors have torpedoed plans for a telecommunications giant to use its land to build a mobile phone mast.

Communications company 3, formerly known as Hutchinson 3G, approached Taverham Parish Council because it wanted to lease its land off Sandy Lane to put up a mast.

But parish councillors, who met earlier this month to discuss the proposal, have blocked the move.

“There was a request from 3G to use land from the parish council on the playing fields,” said Sandra Parkinson, clerk of Taverham Parish Council.

“It was definitely for a mobile phone mast and we've refused to lease them for that purpose.”

Mrs Parkinson said the council did not want a mobile phone mast on its land, on a field so close to homes and schools.

She said: “We wouldn't like to see them anywhere if we had a choice, but we certainly wouldn't want them to have one on our land which is closely surrounded by housing and schools.”

Space was also at a premium on the recreation ground and Mrs Parkinson said it would not have been suitable to have a mast, with all its associated equipment cabins there.

Val Cowell, who lives at Woodside Close in Taverham, said she was pleased the parish council had decided not to allow 3 to lease the land.

In December the Evening News reported how an annual charity football match at a recreation ground in Spixworth had to be cancelled after 3 carved up the pitch while putting a mast next to the touchline.

The long standing Boxing Day game was called off by organisers appalled at the mud bath workers left behind.

Three teams that regularly use the pitch next to Spixworth Village Hall in Crostwick Lane were forced to find a new venue to fulfill their fixtures.

The Evening News has campaigned against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe.

A spokeswoman for 3 said: “We did approach them (the parish council) for a site and they weren't willing to accommodate us.

“We do need a site in Taverham as we do have an obligation to our customers and our government license to bring 3G coverage to the area.”

The spokeswoman said the company was now looking for an alternative site in the area that would enable it to satisfy its obligations.

“We're still investigating all the available options open to us to find the best site that we can,” she said.

Earlier this week we reported another victory for campaigners in the battle against mobile phone masts.

This time O2 decided to withdraw an application for a 12.5metre mast to be built on Dussindale Drive, Thorpe St Andrew, close to the site earmarked for a 420-pupil primary school.

Are you fighting a mobile phone mast application where you live? Telephone Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on (01603) 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

The Norfolk Jumbo Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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