Preparing for third fight to stop mast

PETER WALSH
07 November 2006 13:55

It could be a case of third time unlucky for families living on a city estate who have twice won victories against a mobile phone mast - only to face the uncertainty of an appeal.

Telecommunications giant O2 is contesting Broadland District Council's decision to reject plans for a 12.5metre mast in Dussindale Drive, Thorpe St Andrew.

Planning chiefs told the company back in July the site would be an eyesore and said they should consider sharing another site as there was already a 10 metre mast, operated by Orange, opposite the proposed site.

Initial plans for a mast on a plot of land at Vane Close, off Dussindale Drive, were withdrawn by O2 in March after it emerged it would be right next to the £4m primary school being built there.

Michelle Dickerson, 31, a mum of two who lives in nearby Association Way, headed the campaign against the mast on Dussindale Drive and is furious an appeal has been lodged.

“We had a letter come through last week saying they were going to appeal it,” she said. “I am angry about it but did expect that they might - O2 seem to be quite persistent in trying to get a mast through. It's obvious they are going to put a mast up here somewhere, but it just has to be somewhere everyone is happy with it.

“There's no proof that the masts are harmful or not. However my family are standing up for what it said in the Stewart report that they should not be near homes or schools until it is proven that they are safe.”

Mrs Dickerson, who lives with her husband Stuart, said it is not just the health fears which concern her or her family - but the visual intrusion of the structure.

“I have taken pictures of where the existing mast is and where the proposed O2 mast will be,” she said. “Four rooms will be looking out onto this intrusion. These two front bedrooms are being used by my four-year-old and 16-month-old. How can O2 say it is acceptable with regard to residential amenity?

“The Orange mast only got put there because it was put in before the houses were built. We had no say on that one, however, we do have a say on this one. Placing the mast on the opposite side of this one will give the appearance of rugby posts.”

The Evening News has fought against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe through our Put Masts on Hold campaign.

As the Evening News reported last week families living in Dussindale are fighting another mast application by 3, formerly Hutchinson 3G, for a 22.5metre mast on land near to the Fitzmaurice Pavilion at Pound Lane, Thorpe St Andrew.

More than 100 people turned up to object to plans for that mast at a meeting at the Dussindale Community Centre on Monday, October 30.

# Are you battling a mobile phone mast application where you live? Telephone Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on (01603) 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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