Councillors blast the mast

Jun 1 2006

By Judith Clay And Thelma Haworth

SUNNINGHILL and South Ascot Parish Council has promised it will not allow a hotly-debated phone mast to be put up in a children's play area.

The council owns the land on the Blythewood Green site, where mobile phone company Orange wants to build the 10m-high mast.

Parish clerk Alan Everett said the council had received 100 objection letters,which is the most it has ever had.

Cllr Thalia Chivers said: "We covenanted to keep this as open space when it was given to us."

Peter Standley,representative for the Society for the Protection and Ascot and Environs (SPAE), said: "The view has already been expressed that it's intrusive and out of character, particularly as it's public open space."

Ward councillor for Ascot and Cheapside David Hilton said: "The parish council owns the land and they can refuse the mast.

"Now the council has accepted the motion even if planning permission is granted the parish council can say no and we will say no."

Protest group Blythewood Against the Mast (BAM) has collected more than 400 signatures on its petition against the mast which residents fear will spoil the scenic area as well as pose a health risk.

Gisella Ranscombe, who lives opposite the proposed site, said: "I think it's intolerable even to suggest it."

Richard Flight of Vernon Drive added: "There is already quite a lot of clutter coming on to the green and it would be hard to screen it.

"People have said that they will not let their children play there, in an age where we should be encour-aging children's activities."

However, Rebecca D'Arcy, spokes-woman for Orange, said that it has been looking for a suitable location for five years to help meet coverage demand in the area.

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