Mast: 'This is worst place possible'

Smalley Place is the worst location in the town centre to install a mobile phone mast, according to Kenilworth Town Council.

But despite the opposition, telecommunications company Hutchinson 3G is appealing against a Warwick District Council refusal to build a 12-metre high mast on a grass verge outside the DeMontfort Hotel.

The company's original application was thrown out in January by planning committee councillors, who considered the plans to be "incompatible" with environmental improvements being made in that area of Kenilworth. The application, which includes a 12-metre high monopole mast, three antennas and equipment cabinets, will now be considered by the planning inspectorate.

Kenilworth Town Council is currently preparing its evidence to present to the appeal.

Coun George Illingworth (Abbey) said: "The town council has agreed it will oppose the appeal.

"We don't want to be against the company, we would like to work with them.

"We can think of several other possible locations in the town centre but to do that is not in the town council's remit.

"Of all the places to pick in the town centre it seems to be the worst. That end of town, by the clock tower, is an area we are trying to improve."

All comments submitted in connection with the original application will be forwarded to the planning inspectorate.

A spokeswoman from Hutchinson 3G said: "We have seen a rise in the number of people subscribing to 3 services in Kenilworth. As long as people require the services then 3 has a duty to meet these demands.

"To meet customer requirements, 3 does need a base station in the town centre. Technical constraints means base stations have to be located close to where people use their phones, which tends to be in town centres and residential areas. Without enough base stations in the right locations, mobile phones simply will not work.

"The base station will provide third generation (3G) services to the town centre, which enables quick and easy access to a range of multi-media data services via mobile handsets.

"Having spent four years searching the area for options and consulting with the local community, the streetworks proposal on Smalley Place is the only option left available.

"The proposed location was recommended for approval by the local planning authority and the its professional advisors advised that the proposal would have no impact on amenity.

"We have designed and located the proposed scheme for minimum visual impact to the area. The pole will be ultra slimline, seen in the context of existing tall lamppost, with the Hotel and an eight metre tall tree providing a backdrop.

"For these reasons, we believe an appeal on the planning committee's decision is wholly justified."

To withdraw or modify written comments already made write directly to Rob Nash, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/18b, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2, The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol. BS1 6PN, quoting reference number APP/T3725/A/07/2035978/NWF. Comments can also be made at: //www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs

The deadline for comments is March 6.

21 February 2007

All rights reserved © 2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

//www.kenilworthtoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=698&ArticleID=2065143

--------

"A spokeswoman from Hutchinson 3G said: "We have seen a rise in the number of people subscribing to 3 services in Kenilworth. As long as people require the services then 3 has a duty to meet these demands."

Is anyone sick of this "duty" mantra the mobile companies use to justify treading all over our rights?

If I sold melons and people in town X said they wanted to buy melons, that does not mean I have a "duty" to provide melons, let alone the right to set up shop pretty much anywhere I choose in the face of local opposition. Why do mobile companies enjoy such rights? (no need to answer that by the way).

Pete


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