LANDOWNER DEFENDS PHONE MASTS

LAND owner Simon Greenwood has defended the installation of phone masts on a radius of land he owns around Balcombe despite the disquiet of residents.

Mr Greenwood, who lives in London, owns the 3,000-acre Balcombe Estate, which includes forestry, arable and grazing land, numerous houses and farms.

The estate receives annual rent from phone operators for each mast on its land. Fees, as elsewhere, vary from site to site but conservative estimates put each in excess of £5,000 to £6,000 a year.

Altogether in Mid Sussex, planning permission has been given for 79 mobile phone masts since 1996. In cases such as Northlands Avenue in Haywards Heath hundreds of residents opposed a mast opposite a doctors' surgery and near to Northlands Wood School, but despite a concerted campaign a mast was finally approved by a planning inspector.

At a high point in Keysford Lane, Horsted Keynes, objectors won their battle as the site was in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This week Balcombe Parish Council chairman Graham Gosney and district councillor Gary Marsh took the unprecedented step of writing to Mr Greenwood, who is a parish councillor himself, to appeal to him to withdraw his support for a mast on a particularly controversial site.

For the full story see this week's Mid Sussex Times.

29 December 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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