Pub regulars win phonemast fight

PETER WALSH

08 February 2007 08:53

Regulars at a city pub are today raising their glasses after people power helped convince council bosses to throw out plans for a mast near their local.

Bosses at telecommunications company T-Mobile have been told to axe proposals for a 12m mast on Grove Road after more than 100 people signed a petition against it.

City council planning officers used delegated powers to refuse consent for the mast, which would have been installed next to a parade of shops and opposite an eight-apartment development which is currently under construction.

Chris Higgins, landlord of the Trafford pub, which is close to the site of the proposed mast, said he was pleased the council had thrown out the plans.

“We often feel that our voice isn't heard, but we're pleased at this result,” he said.

More than 100 people signed a petition which started after Mr Higgins began canvassing the views of regulars at his pub.

He said: “What we were doing was asking for people's opinions as a lot of residents frequent the pub - a lot of people weren't even aware it was taking place.”

Mr Higgins said concern about the mast did not just revolve around the possible health effects, but also the physical impact of the mast in a built-up, residential area.

“They're not aesthetically pleasing at all - they are tall and ugly,” he said.

The Evening News has fought against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe through our Put Masts on Hold campaign.

Last month it was reported how John Pillow, manager of Mobility 2000 on Grove Road - next to the site of the proposed mast - said he was concerned about the effect the mast would have on his business.

In a letter sent out to people living in the area, planning officer Sue Fletcher said the application would be refused after the consultation period expired yesterday. “We have delegated powers to deal with non-major applications where there are objections but we are refusing consent, so it will not be reported to committee,” she said.

“Had we been recommending approval and there were objections, it would be a committee decision. Anyone who made a representation (to date about 18 including a petition) will receive a letter notifying them of the decision.”

A spokesman for T-Mobile said they were awaiting the reason for refusal and would make a decision about what to do next after that.

“We still have to provide a service for that area, so we will be looking at the options available to us,” he said.

Are you battling against a mobile phone mast where you live? Call Peter Walsh on 01603 772439 or e-mail peter.walsh @archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2007 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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