Fight to keep beauty spot phone mast

By Gareth Tidman

A MOBILE phone giant is trying to remove a covenant which stops development of a beauty spot in Bromley Cross.

Hutchinson 3G has applied for the 1934 agreement to be scrapped or altered to allow its 15-metre phone mast to remain on the land at Hollands Nursery, Darwen Road.

The application was being considered by a planning inspector during a two-day hearing at Bolton Town Hall which was due to finish today. continued...

The covenant was created following an agreement between former landowner Arthur Ashworth and Turton Urban and District Council in a bid to create a permanent green space, free from building and development.

But John Barrett, for Hutchinson 3G, told the hearing that the covenant was a barrier to the proper planning and development of the area.

He said: "This area should be subject to proper development and that requires that people receive mobile phone coverage.

"Mr Arthur's concern was the loss of space to development and to impose a restriction to create a permanent area of land.

"Hutchinson 3G wishes to retain a monopole mast and equipment. It does not have an unacceptable effect on the area in terms of landscape and visual amenity."

Planning permission for the mast was approved on appeal in May, 2004.

Leolin Price, for Bolton Council, which is objecting to the application, was due to finish outlining its case today.

Planning inspector Rod Evans said he would have to decide whether the mast could be classed as a building and was affected by the covenant.

The new Local Government and Communities secretary and Bolton West MP Ruth Kelly had asked to be informed of the outcome of the inquiry, he said Mr Evans is due to announce his decision later in the year.

3:43pm today

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