Residents lose battle to stop phone mast

By Sarah Harker

DEFLATED residents have lost an ongoing battle to prevent the erection of a controversial mobile phone mast in Cinnamon Brow.

Despite councillors fighting on their behalf to block the mast, a Government inspector has upheld an appeal from Vodafone, which means the mast can go ahead.

The application, to erect a 12 metre high mast with antennas on the top and housing for radio equipment on a grass verge on Blackbrook Avenue was refused in April last year by members of the council's development control committee.

They voted against the advice of council officers who recommended that the application be approved.

But Vodafone appealed against the decision and following a visit by a Government inspector, it was upheld.

The application was the fourth to be made and the decision is all the more devastating, as it became the mission of the late Albert Clemow, borough and parish councillor for the area, to see it defeated.

He fought against the application on behalf of residents, arguing that the erection of a previous mast had ruled out the need for another.

Nevertheless, the inspector upheld the appeal stating that the structure would be simple and uncluttered' and would not dominate the street scene and therefore the effect on the character and appearance of the area would not be serious''.

Liberal Democrat borough councillor for the area Colin Oliver said: "This is sad news. The residents are so disappointed.

"Ironically, the inspector made a good case for the mast to be refused in her report but allowed it anyway. Albert and myself really fought against this especially when an earlier mast was erected we were told that it would prevent the need for any others."

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