'We will combat mast bid'

By Nione Meakin

Protesters in Rose Hill make known their views about a proposed mast last year

Neighbours in Rose Hill, Oxford, have vowed for a third time to fight T-Mobile's plans to put a 10ft phone mast on a green space.

The company was last year refused permission for the mast at the junction of Courtland Road and Rose Hill and an appeal against the city council's decision was also thrown out.

Now it has made another application for permission to site a mast on the spot. Instead of the original green monopole, the mast will look like a telegraph pole and cabinets will be hidden by shrubs.

But resident Alex Tucker, who was involved in last year's campaign against the mast, said neighbours still did not want it in Rose Hill and would launch a new fight.

She added: "This is an area of regeneration where planners and developers are trying to improve the look of the neighbourhood.

"The King of Prussia site is due for redevelopment shortly and when finished, it will greatly enhance the Rose Hill area. The introduction of unsightly clutter on a small green that already has its fair share would be detrimental."

Fellow campaigner Susie Goldacre said: "It would be a step backwards to use the green as a dumping ground for a phone company's commercial hardware. The community intends to protect the neighbourhood and promote improvement."

Gordon Simmons, of T-Mobile, said: "Although an earlier application was refused, the need for network coverage in this part of Oxford remains and the new application addresses the issues raised by planners and the inspector with regard to the earlier application.

"As one of five licensed 3G operators in the UK, we are currently developing our network to deliver new data services to customers and we are required to reach 80 per cent of the population by the end of 2007. This site is intended to provide access to those services in this part of Oxford."

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