Mast victory for campaigners

Residents celebrate the decision to remove the phone masts

RESIDENTS have won their campaign to get mobile phone masts removed from their block of flats.

For three years Vanburgh Park Estate Residents' Association campaigned against six masts being on the roof of Westcombe Court, Westcombe Park Road, Blackheath.

Now the equipment will be taken down on June 30 after cabinet committee members at Greenwich Council refused to renew the lease for telecommunications firm Orange, on March 14.

The council refused to renew its 10-year lease on the basis the company had breached health and safety guidelines as the equipment was overhanging some walkways and was just 6m from residents' properties.

The residents' group campaigned against the 3G masts being so close to their houses.

Despite Orange producing documents to defend its case, the council said its evidence was inadequate.

Association member Colin Fancy said: "We've been fighting a long time. We've earned it after all our petitions, which was signed by 180 people, and going to meetings.

"The council now needs a policy to make sure mobile phone masts are sited away from homes and schools."

An Orange spokesman said: "In respect of Westcombe Court, Orange will now have to replace the coverage lost to maintain acceptable levels of coverage in the area."

It would not say what its arguments to the council were.

9:49am today

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