Gloomy report on mast

A CONTROVERSIAL mobile phone mast that has had residents up in arms over potential health risks was set to step closer to becoming a reality last night.

Ryedale's councillors were due to discuss the issue enforcement action to stop Orange installing the mast at Dasket Hill, Sheriff Hutton, at the monthly planning committee meeting.

But Gary Housden, Ryedale Council's development control manager, said legal advisers said there were no ground for enforcement action and that it could cost the council a lot of money.

Residents of Sheriff Hutton have held protests, fired off letters and had a stand-off with Orange contractors due to their fears that it could lead to health problems for young children who live nearby and others who attend the local school.

The council has been in talks with the mobile phone company in a bid to find a more suitable location but so far there has been no positive outcome.

Mr Housden had taken legal advice to see if the council could mount a successful attack on the application. In his report, he said the advisers have concluded there is "no realistic prospect of success" in arguing there has been a breach of planning control by Orange.

Enforcement action on the grounds of health risks was also thrown out when an independent engineer said the mast meets safety guidelines set out by the Government.

Mr Housden added the council's coffers could also be hit for six if Orange appealed against an enforcement action and was successful.

01 August 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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