Joy as Hempnall phone mast plan refused

22 March 2007

A protest campaign in Hempnall has led to the rejection of controversial plans to erect a mobile phone mast a short distance away from the village school.

South Norfolk Council's planning department threw out T-Mobile UK's application without even putting the matter before members of the south west area planning committee.

The news has delighted local district councillor, Michael Windridge, who spearheaded the opposition.

“This is wonderful news for Hempnall School and residents living in the village's conservation area. People and parent power have ensured that common sense has prevailed on this most sensitive of planning issues. The decision by T-Mobile to promote this scheme was thoroughly insensitive, particularly as there was no demand whatsoever for a mobile phone mast in that particular location,” he said.

“I am sorry that - for legal reasons - the council is not able to adopt my call for a moratorium on all mobile phone mast applications close to schools and residential properties within the district until health concerns have been fully resolved.”

Miriam Elston, the school's headteacher, said it is recommended that children under six do not use mobile telephones and it is uncertain whether masts are a health hazard.

“We think we should be careful which is why I wrote in with an objection. We are very pleased that a mast won't be put right on the edge of the school,” she said.

The scheme was rejected because of the mast's unacceptable visual impact on the school, and the resulting anxiety it is likely to cause due to perceived health risks.

Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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