Mast rejected near hotel

Telecommunications giant Hutchinson 3G has failed in its attempts to install a "completely inappropriate" 12-metre high mast in Kenilworth town centre.

The plans, which included the construction of a black antenna on a verge outside the DeMontfort Hotel, were rejected by members of Warwick District Council's planning committee at a meeting held at Leamington Town Hall on Wednesday.

Among the objectors to the proposal was Kenilworth Town Council, which stated the location was "completely inappropriate and unsuitable".

Speaking on behalf of the council at the meeting, Coun George Illingworth told members he had received a number of letters raising concern about the application and believed he would have received many more if it had not been for the time of year.

He added that many people did not believe the application would be allowed to get as far as it had and feared approval could set a precedent for other mobile phone companies.

Speaking on behalf of the Conservation Area Advisory Forum, Joanna Illingworth also raised concerns. She said: "This application, because it is on the street, is close to Kenilworth's main conservation area and is visible from it."

Coun Michael Coker (Con, Kenilworth Abbey) added: "The area is an important part of the regeneration of the town. Smalley Place is set to be the site of a civic centre. It is the gateway to the town and an important part of it."

This view was shared by committee chairman Coun Richard Tamlin (Lab, Bishops Tachbrook) who raised objections to the plans previously, and because of which, removed himself from Wednesday's debate and vote.

Coun Bertie Mackay (Ind, Stoneleigh) spoke of the equipment that would accompany the mast.

He said: "The problem is not the mast, it is the totality of the equipment. The large box is 1.5m high and that in itself has an enormous impact."

Coun Ann Blacklock (Lib Dem, Kenilworth Abbey) told members she did not share the same concerns.

She explained she had not had any letters or concerns raised to her about it and said that she believed people were "not that bothered". The application was refused by four to two.

12 January 2007

All rights reserved © 2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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