Mast rejected in 'Lady Hamilton's garden'

It was the spot where Lady Emma Hamilton is said to have watched for the mast that meant Britain's greatest hero had come home.

But more than 200 years later mobile phone bosses have had their plans turned down for planting a mast of a very different kind in the former garden of Lord Nelson's lover.

Campaigners breathed a sigh of relief when planners rejected O2's bid for a 50ft tower next to Town Quay House, Fareham, where Nelson and Lady Hamilton are rumoured to have met up for romantic encounters.

Councillors decided the tower would have a 'detrimental effect' on the Grade II listed building in Gosport Road, which dates from 1720, with porch columns made of masts from ancient ships.

Eighteen neighbours objected to the mast, including Paul Holland, who has spent tens of thousands of pounds restoring the building.

He said: 'We're delighted. You always expect the mobile phone operators to exercise their clout and get their way.

'I'm sure they'll be back and we'll do battle again, but they should really look at finding somewhere more appropriate.

Cllr Roger Price said: 'We must make sure all our listed buildings are cared for and looked after and not do anything as an authority that doesn't let that happen.'

O2 has said it will appeal against the decision and was determined to install the pole.

jeff.reines@thenews.co.uk

14 August 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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