'SENSATIONAL' U-TURN ON PHONE MAST PLAN

A MOBILE phone mast plan for the roof of a pub neighbouring shops, homes and nurseries will NOT go ahead, its owners have decided.

The news has been hailed as 'sensational' by campaigners who opposed the Hutchinson 3G application for the Tally Ho pub in Church Street, Old Town.

The phone company had asked Tally Ho owners Punch Taverns if they could put a 10-metre high roof mounted flagpole mast containing three antennae, one 200mm dish antenna and radio equipment.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary challenger and Old Town resident Stephen Lloyd had urged objectors to write to Punch Taverns.

A reply to him this week stated, "I'm writing in reply to your letter about the proposed installation of a mobile phone mast on the Tally Ho in Eastbourne.

"We've now considered this application in detail and have decided not to proceed for operational reasons."

Mr Lloyd said, "This is sensational news and a wonderful Christmas present for local residents.

"However, though we have won this one it is important we remain vigilant. The council has confirmed to me the planning application is still going ahead on January 9 because though Punch Taverns have formally withdrawn, if the application is passed they may choose to come back at some time in the future.

"On that basis I will still be speaking against the mobile mast application at the planning meeting and presenting the petitions signed by so many local residents who made their opposition crystal clear."

Many campaigners were concerned about unproven health risks associated with living or working near masts.

Mr Lloyd, together with other campaigners Andrew Goodwin and Carolyn Heaps, collected more than 170 signatures on a petition against the mast.

He asked objectors to write to Eastbourne Borough Council and Punch Taverns with their views.

Mr Lloyd said, "My thinking was that if large numbers of potential customers wrote directly to the chief executive of Punch Taverns, he would soon get the message and think twice before agreeing to take the money and install a mobile phone mast at the pub.

"It is fantastic news for local residents that this tactic has worked.

"This is a sensational development and I'd like to pay tribute to all those who responded so quickly to my request.

"I'd particularly like to thank Old Town resident Nigel Stead for all the effort he put in helping me rally the support of local residents.

"This is a great result for people power. I showed it could be done with B&Q, and now the same has been achieved with this mobile phone application.

"Here's hoping that 2007 sees us achieving the same result the whole town is working so hard for; stopping the cuts at DGH."

A Punch Taverns spokesperson said, "We can confirm that our application has been withdrawn due to operations reasons."

08 January 2007

All rights reserved © 2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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