Mast petition attracts 272 names

By Ian Ross

HUNDREDS of residents are up in arms about T-Mobile UK's plans for a 15-metre mast.

The mobile phone company wants to put the mast up at Congleton Railway Station.

The plans have sparked a storm of protest from local people, with 11 letters opposing the mast and a 272-name petition being sent to the borough council.

The plans are also being opposed by the CW12 Residents Action Group, and possibly most crucially by the borough's chief planning officer.

Planning chief Geoff Allen is recommending the mast scheme be refused because its height and siting would harm the character of the area.

The land earmarked by T-Mobile is 15 metres from a site where Vodafone is due to place a 15-metre mast, for which it received planning approval recently.

Mr Allen's second reason for calling for the T-Mobile plans to be rejected is that the company had failed to show that mast-sharing with Vodafone would not be a viable alternative to its mast plan.

Residents claim the masts are eyesores, they would dominate the skyline and it was not proven that they did not present health risks.

The CW12 group submitted a two-page letter opposing the mast, and the scheme is due to come before the borough planning committee next Thursday, May 31.

"While the applicants have demonstrated a need for this mast in this area of Congleton due to its height and siting it would have an unduly detrimental effect on the character of the surrounding area," said Mr Allen.

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