Anger as mobile mast goes ahead

By Chris Johnson

RESIDENTS are furious after the Government vetoed a council's decision to reject the installation of a phone mast.

Greenwich Council twice declined phone company T-Mobile's application to install an 11.7m 3G mast in Rochester Way, Eltham.

But the phone giant appealed against the council's decision last year and now the Government's Planning Inspectorate has approved the application.

Residents and councillors are concerned the mast will be an eyesore next to Oxleas Woods a site of special scientific interest.

The council received letters of objection in response to both proposals, which were submitted in April and then August last year.

Chris Rusher, of Crookston Road, says the Planning Inspectorate did not listen to residents' views in making its decision.

He said: "It's shocking not just our objections but also Greenwich Council's decisions seem to have been completely ignored.

"I am also deeply concerned as my wife is pregnant and it's a worry a developing child will have to needlessly live about 100m from this mast."

Conservative Eltham north Councillor Spencer Drury has been fighting the proposal since the first application.

He said: "This mast is being built at the bottom of green, beautiful land and it will undoubtedly spoil it.

"The council knew this wasn't right for the area so how can it be some faceless inspector can allow this to happen?"

Eltham MP Clive Efford has written to T-Mobile demanding a meeting to see if the company will move the mast's position eastwards so it is hidden behind trees.

Greenwich Council says it will not appeal the Planning Inspectorate's decision.

The Planning Inspectorate's inspector, Jonathan Bore, said the application had been approved to "remedy a shortfall in 3G coverage" and said the impact on Oxleas Woods would "not be significant".

He added: "I have considered all the representations and all the matters raised by the objectors. I consider the proposed scheme is entirely acceptable on its own merits."

T-Mobile was unavailable for comment.

© Copyright 2001-2006 Newsquest Media Group

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