Mast protesters vow to battle on

Jun 1 2006

By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

A BATTLE against plans for a mobile phone mast is set to go on, despite planning approval having been given.

Hutchison 3G wants to install a mobile phone mast and base on Halifax Old Road, Grimscar.

The mast site is near the last houses before Grimscar Woods.

Residents took to the streets to protest, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

Now Kirklees councillor Mehboob Khan, one of the Greenhead ward councillors, has vowed to fight on.

"It would look unsightly," he said.

"I'm opposed to it on various grounds. There are health considerations, but it's also that this is an area of natural woodland and the mast will look like a very unsightly, alien feature."

Because applications have to be dealt with in a certain time the mast plan did not go for consideration by the planning committee, which comprises elected councillors.

Therefore, planning officers had to deal with the case. They had no grounds to refuse the application, so they approved it.

But Clr Khan hopes to get one of the company's chiefs to come and see the site. He is also asking the council's highways department to look at the issue.

Clr Khan said: "I have emailed the head of Hutchison 3G development team, asking for a site visit, in order to try to persuade him that we ought not to be allowing this and that they should look for another location."

He said the mast would encroach on to the pavement, forcing pedestrians to cross over.

He added: There's no verge on the other side, so it puts pedestrians in the line of the traffic."

Recently campaigners gathered on Halifax Old Road to protest.

They are worried about the detrimental effects the mast could have on the environment.

Protesters say it is a greenfield site and that the mast would be fully visible from across the valley.

They are also worried about the long-term health implications for children in the area.

Resident Nikki Gregg said: "Birkby is already well served for mobile phone masts. This is just another commercial exercise."

The protesters are also collecting signatures for a petition.

Hutchison 3G did not respond to the Examiner's request for a comment.

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