Anger at mast next to house

Jun 12 2006

By Gareth Deighan,
The Evening Chronicle

Jo Moore outside her Whickham home

A council is threaten-ing action after a mobile phone mast was put up without planning permission.

Jo Moore, 63, was made aware of an application by phone company O2 to put up the mast last year but was under the impression it had been denied planning permission.

Then the mast appeared outside her home in Holme Avenue, Whickham, Gateshead, and she says it now dominates the view from her front windows

Mrs Moore, who has lived in her two-bedroom semi-detached house for the last 20 years, said: "This is ridiculous. I went to all the meetings and heard everything that was said and it just wasn't allowed.

"So you can imagine my surprise when I saw it has been put up anyway.

"I went to the council and they told me that the phone company didn't have permission and something was going to be done.

"It has spoiled what you can see from my house. I woke up one morning, looked out of my window and there it was. There was no warning."

Gateshead Council confirmed the mast had been put up by the company without the proper permission and said when O2 approached them they were given preliminary planning permission.

A spokesman for Gateshead council said: "Getting planning permission for something like this is a fairly long process and O2 were in the midst of that process.

"But they did not get their final plans approved by us and put up the mast anyway which is not acceptable and we will be taking action.

"In the area of Holme Avenue there are already some masts and it is therefore difficult to refuse planning permission for more. But in this case the phone company have put this up without proper permission."

But a spokesman for O2 said the situation was a matter of paperwork. "We are in talks with Gateshead Council about the mast and as far as we're concerned, they are going well and we will be able to come to some sort of arrangement with them," he said.

"It is a matter of paperwork and we are confident the mast will be allowed to stay."

Mrs Moore said: "My neighbours and I think the mast is horrendous and we want to see it gone."

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