Phone Mast Campaigners 'Lucky' to Have Support

A Kenilworth woman has hit out at The Open Spaces Society for not supporting a previous fight against a mobile phone mast on Chase Lane in the town.

Louise Weetman of East Chase Farm says that the society was 'not interested' in their battle against a mast and says that residents of Crackley Lane are 'lucky' to have the support they do.

Plans for the HG3 mast were granted permission in December 2006 after perceived health risks could not justify the application being refused, according to Warwick District Council.

But at the time, Ms Weetman says that the small number of supporters fighting against the plans rendered their campaign futile in the eyes of planners.

She said: "We in Chase Lane are so few and had no such support therefore the application for a mast in our beautiful privately owned lane was approved.

"Ninety eight per cent of the residents did not want the mast in the location chosen in Chase Lane. To call these telephone companies a communication company is laughable the last thing they do is communicate with you.

"What is also amazing is that The Open Spaces Society were not interested in helping us with our campaign, now it effects their land they are willing to get involved.

"Kate Ashbrook, the site in Chase Lane is also an 'historic site where people enjoy quiet recreation. It will be an eyesore and will spoil the natural beauty of the area'.

"Where were you when we needed your support? Chase Lane residents put forward all the same arguments as those being put forward by the Crackley Lane residents.

"I wish Crackley Lane luck with their fight and if they win Chase Lane residents will feel vindicated that they were indeed victims of bully boy tactics by the telephone company, Kenilworth town councillors who approved and the planning officers simply because we were so few in numbers."

The Open Spaces Society announced its decision to join the campaign against the O2 mast which may be destined for Crackley Lane.

The society owns Parliament Piece in Kenilworth and is concerned that Warwick District Council has failed to so far consult the society as an adjoining landowner.

In 1999 the society leased the land to Warwick District Council under a 99-year lease, to manage for nature conservation, public recreation on foot, and as an important contribution to the landscape character of the area.

Protesters against the O2 mast on Crackley Lane turned out in force last week to demonstrate against the plans.

And on Wednesday, they joined together to submit a 400-signature petition to the district council. Neighbours in the locality are protesting about the proposed telephone mast that could be placed at the corner of Crackley Lane and Coventry Road.

The location would site the mast approximately 70m from nearby houses and about 70m from the tennis courts at Kenilworth Tennis Club. Protesters are asking district councilors to think about an alternative site.

Kenilworth town councillors are unanimous in their opposition Warwick District Council has yet to comment on this further.

All rights reserved ©2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing

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