DEFEAT FOR PHONE MAST CAMPAIGNERS

CAMPAIGNERS against a mobile phone mast have lost their battle against it being sited next to a medical centre.

Planning Inspector Peter Marshall granted Hutchison 3G permission to put a 12 metre high mobile mast, on a public footway in Dittons Road, Stone Cross.

This is despite a petition signed by hundreds of villagers — and the decision goes against the wishes of councillors who voted against it.

David Picton, who organised the petition signed by more than 700 people, said, ''I'm deeply disappointed by this decision.

''The people of Stone Cross have shown their feelings against this mast by signing this petition, yet have no say.

''Our elected representatives, the voice of the people, said 'no' to the mast and their decision is over turned.

''There are no proven health risks against masts but there is also no proof they are safe.

''To place this mast so close to both a medical centre and a number of education establishments for young people defies belief.

''We put a good case against the mast yet we are now forced to put up with it.

''With yet another application having been submitted to the district council for a mast on Lion Hill, it could end up there are three of them within 100 yards of one another.''

A spokeswoman for Westham Parish Council said, ''The parish council strongly opposed the mast and is therefore extremely disappointed to hear the appeal was successful.

''It would however like to take this opportunity to thank Wealden for all its help and support.''

Concerns by anti-mast campaigners centred on the mast's position next to Stone Cross Medical Centre and its proximity to the village's memorial hall, where a pre-school meets, and Stone Cross Primary School.

Mr Marshall, who heard the appeal last week, stated in his decision notice, ''I conclude on the main issue that concerns a risk to public health and interference with electrical government at the surgery are not grounds on which the appeal should be dismissed.

''Added weight is given to my view that the appeal should be allowed by the need for the proposed development and the details of the appellant's site search.

''There would be no conflict with those policies of the development plan.''

The decision as to whether Hutchison 3G will be awarded costs is yet to be made by Mr Marshall.

13 March 2007

All rights reserved © 2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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