Mobile mast battle rages on

By East Lothian Newsroom


FRESH plans to erect a 10 metre-high mobile phone pole at Station Yard Industrial Estate are to be contested by community councillors.

Mobile giant T-Mobile wants to position the telegraph pole at the east end of the estate, just off Station Road.

The pole would support three mobile phone antennae inside a plastic shroud.

But a number of concerns were expressed at a meeting of Haddington Community Council.

“We can’t simply say ‘no’ to telecoms mast sites, but should continue our objection to this one on the grounds that the location in Station Yard is the most visually intrusive from the West Road,” said planning liaison officer Norman Lawrie.

“The alternatives outside Station Yard have not in our view been thoroughly examined, and the option of an alternative site inside Station Yard, at the same height or perhaps on a lower location but with a higher pole, has not been considered.”

Chairman Jan Wilson agreed, saying it was important that T-Mobile looked at all options.

“We need to make the point that they haven’t considered other sites in the area,” she said.

Community councillor Effie Renton said she was surprised that proposals for mobile masts had not been submitted closer to the farmland at Letham, which is zoned to have at least 750 new houses built.

“Why do they have to be 10 metres high?” she asked.

Fellow community councillor Colvin Denholm said he suspected this depended on the surrounding area and the ease of transmitting signals over the hills.

In a submission to East Lothian Council planners from T-Mobile’s agent, Daly International, it was claimed that there was a lack of other appropriate sites for such a pole in the area.

“Finding an unobtrusive design for this region of the Haddington area proved difficult due to the prevalence of open parkland and low-rise, medium density residential development,” said the submission.

“For the chosen site a steel structure was considered, as this type of installation is generally preferred in an industrial area.

“However, due to the abundance of trees and shrubbery in the surrounding district it was felt the lowest possible wooden structure that could be installed would be more appropriate.”

The submission revealed that a previous application for a telecommunications installation on the site had been refused “due to design issues”.

The fresh application, however, was considered to have overcome “all of the negative aspects of the original application”.

T-Mobile’s bid follows last year’s proposal by rival firm O2 to install a mobile phone base station in the tower of West Church, Haddington. The plan was ditched following local opposition.


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