19
Okt
2005

A PHONE mast has been approved despite protests by concerned residents

Mast all set for go ahead

19 October 2005
EDITORIAL - editorial@thecomet.net

A PHONE mast has been approved despite protests by concerned residents.

The mast will be erected in Blakeney Road, Stevenage, despite a petition signed by more than 300 people.

A resident, who did not want to be named, said: "We are all very disappointed. It has revealed a real problem with planning policy. Mobile phone companies can put up phone masts wherever they want. It doesn't go to committee.

"We are disgusted that our protests were disregarded."

Cllr Sharon Taylor, who backed the residents' campaign, said: "The objectors put on a very strong fight and I am disappointed for them. I just hope the mast isn't as bad as it sounds but I understand they are disappointed."

She said the campaign had highlighted concerns in the planning policy surrounding phone masts.

She said: "I do feel we need to be clear if we are asking people to comment on these plans that they know what issues they can object to."

The health issues the protesters were objecting to were not official planning grounds.

Cllr Taylor said: "It gets a bit technical. We need to have some information for objectors so they know what grounds they can object under and time isn't wasted in the future."

She also said she would meet with MP Barbara Follett to try and get the Government to issue new information about the health issues surrounding phone masts.

Martin Fitch of the council's planning and regeneration team said: "Having assessed this proposal against relevant council policy and Government advice and after careful consideration of the objections from local residents, we have decided that the siting of this telecommunications mast is acceptable in planning terms.

"Under the powers delegated to the head of planning and regeneration, prior approval for the development has been granted.

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