Residents fuming at ‘unfair’ mast

By Robert Fisk

Residents protest at the site earmarked for the mast Residents protest at the site earmarked for the mast BR3768-03

CAMPAIGNERS are blaming the council for a mobile phone mast planning "fiasco".

Residents living near the corner of St Paul's Wood Road and Beddington Road, St Paul's Cray, were horrified to see workers digging a hole for a T-Mobile phone mast.

They believed the mobile phone giant was not allowed to put the mast up after a planning application was rejected by Bromley Council in August last year.

The council rejected the application after receiving a petition containing about 200 signatures and numerous letters.

However, T-Mobile appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and the mast was approved in February.

Residents say they would have objected if they had known the company had got approval but say Bromley Council did not send out any letters to tell them about it.

Mother-of-three Sam Anderson, 35, of Thorndon Close, St Paul's Cray, said: "It is a complete fiasco.

"Everybody is absolutely disgusted and could not believe the mast is going up.

"The council says it was taken out of their hands but we weren't told about it.

"All the residents are very angry about the way this has been done."

Dawn Somers, 47, of White-webbs Way, St Paul's Cray, said: "I'm fuming about it. The first we knew was when the hole was being dug."

Mrs Anderson says Bromley Council told her more than 100 letters were sent out to homes in the area informing residents T-Mobile had won the appeal.

She says everyone she has spoken to says they did not receive a letter.

Ward councillor Colin Willetts has vowed to fight the Planning Inspectorate's decision.

He said: "We believe the decision is unfair. No matter what, we will still be appealing."

A Bromley Council spokesman said: "We refused permission because we believed the mast would cause undue clutter. But the Planning Inspectorate felt the mast posed no harmful effect to the street scene."

10:32am Tuesday 25th April 2006

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