Fury as twice rejected mast gets go ahead

03 August 2006

ANGER: Local community oppose the plans.

RESIDENTS are baffled after a phone mast proposal, rejected twice by council chiefs, was given the go-ahead by the government.

The Planning Inspectorate's decision to give T-Mobile the thumbs-up to build a 3-G mast at the bottom of Oxleas Meadows, Rochester Way, Eltham, on July 19 has caused uproar among residents.

An application for the mast was first rejected in May last year, before a second was rejected in September and residents are up in arms at the latest decision.

Resident Chris Rusher said: "It is shocking that not just our objections but also Greenwich council's decisions seem to have been completely ignored."

Fellow resident Sue Putnam added: "The proposed site is very close to residential homes and the alternative sites we suggested were dismissed out of hand."

Eltham North ward councillor, Spencer Drury branded the decision 'disgraceful'. He said: "The application was turned down twice by Greenwich Council who thought it was inappropriate.

"So T-Mobile appealed to the Government's planning inspector who overturned the decision without even bothering to talk to residents.

"This is being built at the bottom of open, green, beautiful land and it will undoubtedly spoil it."

The Inspectorate's office said it could not comment on the decision, because an appeal could be launched.

However, in his report, inspector Jonathan Bore said installing the mast would have 'no significant' affect on Oxleas Meadows or Woods or on residents' health.

He also said the equipment conforms to guideline levels for public exposure to radiation.

Eltham MP, Clive Efford has written to the Planning Inspectorate to express his anger at the decision and has asked T-Mobile for a meeting at the site.

The MP has suggested moving the mast a few hundred metres to the east. He said: "Moving the mast eastwards will mean that it would be lost in the trees and be less obtrusive."

emma.durdle@archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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