Victory in campaign over mast

Aug 18 2006

Stafford ic network

By Justine Halifax

FAMILIES are celebrating victory over a mobile phone giant after plans for a mast near homes and a primary school were thrown out.

Vodafone told Tamworth Borough Council it wanted to erect a 12m high mast, equipped with a microwave dish, on a grass verge in Pennine Way, Stonydelph.

It sparked fierce opposition from families over fears it would have been just ten metres from the nearest house and 150 metres from Stonydelph Infants and Junior School.

Angry residents joined forces to object to the plans and won when the council rejected Vodafone's application.

Independent councillor Chris Cooke, of Stonydelph, said: "This must have been one of the cheekiest applications yet.

"It was barely 150 metres from Stonydelph school and close to an old people's complex. There were literally dozens of homes within the 100 metre reach. This application was totally insensitive."

A council spokesman said: "The siting of the proposed mast within ten metres of a residential property is considered insensitive and ill thought out.

"Ten metres is not judged an acceptable distance from a residential property to site a telecommunications mast, nor appropriate given the residential density of the area.

"The proposed mast will appear visually intrusive and is likely to have a detrimental impact on the character of the area."

Vodafone defended its decision to site a mast so close to homes and a school.

A spokeswoman said: "Every reputable scientific body has said that providing we comply with guidelines, there is no risk to human health whether you are right next to it or a mile away."

It is the second bid by Vodafone to be thwarted following campaigns in Tam-worth this month.

Last week jubilant families blocked the company's plans for a 12m high mast in Overwoods Road, Hockley, Wilnecote.

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