Phone masts a big turn-off

By Linda Piper

IN A blitz on mobile phone masts, Bexley councillors have turned down eight applications for new masts in the borough in the past month.

At the planning control committee meeting last week, members turned down applications for five masts.

This follows a further three rejections at the committee's November 23 meeting.

For people living in the Penhill area of Bexley, it was their fifth attempt to fight off plans for a mast near their homes.

This time it was T-Mobile which applied to put a 32ft mast on the grass verge outside 179 Harcourt Avenue at the junction with Penhill Road.

Bexley has already refused an application from O2 in 2004, which was also refused on appeal and two applications from Orange in June this year.

All of them were turned down for similar reasons, including concerns it would increase the street clutter and would be visually intrusive.

Two applications for phone masts in Halfway Street, Sidcup, were also refused last week.

One proposed by Orange would have stood outside 190 and 192 Halfway Street and the other from Huchison 3G was proposed for outside 188 Halfway Street.

The committee also refused another application by Hutchison 3G for a 40ft mast on the Sidcup-bound carriageway of North Cray Road, opposite 48 St James Way.

One of the reasons the committee turned down the application was because the proposed site is on the edge of the High Beeches conservation area.

The fifth application was another attempt to site a mast near the Great Harry pub.

T-Mobile applied to put a mock telegraph pole-style mast in Parsonage Manorway fronting Cray Road.

Last month, councillors turned down an application from Orange for a mast in the same street, at the junction with Eastry Road and along the street from the pub.

At the same meeting, O2 was refused permission for a mast in Erith Road, Barnehurst, near the entrance to the Bexley Care Trust offices.

And it turned down T-Mobile's bid for a 55ft high mast which would have towered over the trees on a piece of green belt land off Tile Kiln Lane, Bexley.

l People have until December 22 to write objecting to an appeal by T- Mobile to be allowed to put a phone mast at the William Camden pub in Avenue Road, Bexleyheath.

The proposal was refused by Bexley Council.

People should write, enclosing three copies of their objection, to the Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/14, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN.

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