Mast victory for residents who stood up to club

May 28 2007

by Lisa Jones, South Wales Echo

A FIGHT to keep a mobile phone mast from being put up in a rugby ground has been won.

Plans to erect the T-Mobile mast in the grounds of Glamorgan Wanderers Rugby Club, Ely, Cardiff, were shelved after its board of trustees opposed them.

Residents living near the ground in Stirling Road, Ely, were horrified by the prospect of having to live next to the 20.5-metre-high mast and organised a petition against it, collecting 168 names.

They were concerned it could put people’s health at risk and would be a blot on the landscape.

Representatives also voiced their concerns to club officials, who finally relented after its trustees’ meeting.

Derek Patterson, club secretary, said the club withdrew its support in response to opposition from residents.

He said: “There was a lot of concern expressed by the local residents.

“At the end of the day we decided in the interests of keeping good relations with the neighbours that we wouldn’t go ahead with it.

“It’s important to us to keep good relations. We didn’t want to antagonise anybody.”

Keith Bratcher, 56, a lorry driver of St Fagans Court, led the campaign.

He said: “It goes to show that if enough people stand up to be counted, the big boys can be taken down.

“They can’t ride roughshod over everybody.

“It hasn’t been proved that these masts are safe, but it would have altered the skyline completely.

“Nobody is entitled to a view but I’ve had mine for 25 years.

“It’s a wonderful achievement but I’m still keeping a close eye on the situation.”

Retired police officer Trevor Tibbles, 72, whose house is next to the club, said it was good news their concerns had been listened to.

“I’m highly delighted,” he said.

“It’s nice to see that somebody has listened.

“Sometimes you can protest as much as you like but it doesn’t change anything.

“We heard that the Glamorgan Wanderers trustees had put their foot down and said ‘no’. It wouldn’t have been in their best interests to alienate the people.”

A spokeswoman for Cardiff council confirmed that the plans to put up the mast at Glamorgan Wanderers RFC were withdrawn by T-Mobile before a planning committee meeting on Wednesday.


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