Row over 40ft mast reignites

By Sue Vickers

PICKERSLEIGH Road residents who won the fight against a 40ft phone mast outside their front doors are preparing to fight again.

Residents objected to a planning application for a mobile mast on a grass verge outside their homes earlier this year and were delighted when Malvern Hills District Council. turned down the proposal.

Now the mobile phone company Hutchinson 3G is appealing against the decision and residents say they will have to fight all over again.

"It seems so wrong. Every resident was against it. Why do we have to have the same fight again? Nothing has changed," said resident Hilda Forsyth.

Mrs Forsyth, who has lived in Pickersleigh Road for more than 20 years, said the phone company had been offered an alternative site by the council.

"It's only half a mile away, it's council land and there are no houses nearby. I don't see why they can't put the mast there," added the 76-year-old.

She is worried about the health and safety aspects of having a mast so close to her home and two base stations with large batteries and acid inside.

"There are accidents on this road regularly and cars come up on to the pavement and grass verge. What would happen if they hit the mast?"

Mrs Forsyth and other local residents will be writing to the council and contacting their MP Sir Michael Spicer about the phone mast.

"I'm getting older. I could do without all this but we won last time and we're determined to win again. We are not having that mast here," she said.

Hutchinson 3G corporate affairs manager Mike Dobson, said: "No other alternative site has been found that would work for us. We think it's a fair and reasonable proposal so we are appealling."

He said the mast was needed to provide voice, text and data services.

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