Moreton: Telecom firm has fight on its hands over bid to erect mast

MORETON Town Council has voted to fight plans by telecom giant O2 to site a 50ft mast in Evenlode Road.

They are objecting to the proposal on the grounds that there was no proven need for it.

Cllr Rod Hooper told Monday's meeting of the council that the area was well served already by masts at Todenham, Longborough, and Icocmb.

"There are so many towers around here already," he said. "I think O2 should negotiate with other telecoms providers in the area and share masts.

"People are often worried about the health issue involved with masts and if it was above a school I would be concerned. But in this case there are several masts within reach of Moreton and it's time they all got together and said it's time to start using the existing ones."

Cllr Josie Burford said O2 had not made its case for having the mast.

Town council planning committee chairman Jenny Harris said she thought the proposal fell within planning guidelines, but council members voted to object to the mast by four votes to two.

Gloucestershire County Council, which owns the land described as Evenlode Road Barns, where the mast would be sited, is in favour of the O2 proposal.

Nik Peregrine, county council property services spokeman, said: "The proposal to build a mobile phone mast at Evenlode Road does not conflict with county council policy on the location of masts, as it is not near any schools or residential areas. As such we have given our consent for the mast to go ahead, subject to the approval of the town council."

O2 head of community relations for Gloucestershire Angela Johnson said: "The mast, a slimline monopole, is urgently needed for coverage and capacity in the area. We only build masts where there is an absolute necessity for them, and this site is in the optimum position to fit into our existing network."

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