Battle over plan to replace phone mast

nlnews@archant.co.uk

15 November 2006

ANTI-mobile phone mast campaigners in Muswell Hill are claiming a plan to build a new mast should not go ahead because it would be illegal.

Mobile operator, O2, is planning to replace an unused mast on top of the old BT Exchange in Grand Avenue with a new one.

The company, along with Haringey Council, claims that because there is already a mast there they do not need to get planning permission for a new one.

But Richard Buxton, a lawyer for Muswell Hill Against the Masts (MHAM), insists the council has got it wrong.

He says the previous mast should have been removed long ago and fresh planning permission sought for a new one. He has written to the planning department.

A spokeswoman for MHAM said: "O2 argues that it is erecting on an existing mast which is unused and therefore does not need planning permission. Protesters say under planning regulations, the old mast should have been removed and that planning permission would therefore be required for a new mast."

The head of MHAM, Sarah Purdey, has also protested to Councillor Gideon Bull, head of the scrutiny review which was looking into the issue, who pledged to take a tough stance on it.

A spokesman for Haringey Council said:

"We have fully complied with planning regulations and government guidance in this case. We will be replying separately to Mr Buxton."

An O2 spokesman said: "There was a mast there before so all we are doing is replacing one with the other. It's no big deal. It's smaller than the previous one.

"I can assure the people there that there is no problem and no danger at all from the mast.

Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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