Plans for two more phone masts on hold

Controversial plans for two mobile phone masts in northern Chichester have been temporarily put on hold.

One of them involves proposals for a 25-metre mast disguised as a cypress tree, which critics have said would look like a giant loo brush.

This is proposed for a site near the city’s popular Centurion Way cycle route and walkway, and has provoked a storm of protest about the impact on an attractive country area.

Orange had submitted an application for planning permission to Chichester District Council.

This has now been withdrawn by the company before a decision was made by the council, but the intention is to resubmit it at a later stage.

The withdrawal followed a request from the council’s planning department for more information on the appearance of the tree mast, together with colour photographs of similar masts and a photomontage of the site.

Plans by Vodafone for a 10m timber telegraph pole supporting an antennae unit in Broyle Road, next to the Roussillon Barracks, have also been withdrawn before going in front of the council’s southern area development control committee for a decision.

This is also due to be resubmitted following reconsideration.

The proposal is facing strong criticism from local residents in the area.

Summersdale Residents’ Association claimed there had been a lack of genuine consultation with residents and other community groups.

It said the proposed site was adjacent to the barracks, which was due to be redeveloped for homes. The application seemed premature, as any proposal could restrict redevelopment options.

The association also claimed a mast in this location would further erode the character of the area.

One local campaigner said residents in Broyle Road were furious that health concerns were not being taken seriously.

He added: “It is a classic case of not in my backyard – everyone says these things are safe until someone threatens to put one next to their house.

“When you start reading all the international research, you soon realise it is totally irresponsible to put a mast in so close, especially when Chichester has alternative sites like Graylingwell, away from where children live.”

Meanwhile, an application for a third mobile phone mast in northern Chichester has been submitted, by T-Mobile (UK) Ltd.

This wants to install an 11.7m monopole, plus associated equipment cabinets, at the corner of Lavant Road and The Broadway.

15 March 2007

All rights reserved © 2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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