Relief as phone mast plans are thrown out

Protesters are celebrating after seeing off plans for a mobile phone mast next to a school in Rowsley.

But meanwhile residents in Hackney will be fuming because a similar mast was given the go-ahead in the village.

On Tuesday night Derbyshire Dales District councillors rejected the 20-metre phone mast which would have sat behind Rowsley Primary School at Ashbrook Roofing and Supplies.

Rowsley Parish councillor John Hart, who was at the meeting said: "It was brilliant, I think the planners had every intention of putting it through and they got a surprise when it didn't.

"The research isn't clear about the health affects. I found some research in Sweden which suggests there are health risks from being close to a phone mast."

Omega the research is clear about the health affects. See under:

Ted Mellor, chair of the governors at Rowsley Primary School, said: "The mast was inappropriately sited. It was not that far from the school."

Derbyshire Dales District councillor Deborah Reed, who represents Rowsley, Stanton in Peak and Birchover Parish Councils, said: "We are all very happy and would like the company to go away and find a site somewhere else.

"The pole would have been right at the bottom of the garden of a resident, who has a 18-month-old child. And I don't think anyone would like a 66 foot pole by their garden wall.

"We cannot look at health issues because the government lays down the emission levels that a company mustn't go over. They talk about 'ionising emissions' – but who knows what that is?"

However, the same councillors gave the green light to a phone mast from the same firm, Hutchinson 3G UK Ltd, at Bent Lane, Hackney.

John Evans, chairman of Darley Dale Town Council attended the meeting and was very disappointed at the outcome.

He said: "The mast will be an eyesore. People from Matlock will be able to see it. I don't think the mobile phone company are making the effort to camouflage it."

Cllr Reed, who also voted against the phone mast going up in Hackney, said: "I think we are just going to have a proliferation of them. There's another one barely yards away."

A spokesperson for the applicant, Hutchinson 3G UK Ltd said: "We are disappointed that we were refused the mast at Rowsley. The planning officer did recommend this was the best site. We are limited to our options.

"We are going to have to wait now for the decision notice to see if we are going to appeal. We do need a site in the area as there is a demand.

"We amended our application twice at Hackney to make sure we had the best-designed and best -placed mast.

"It was agreed that if we shared the mast with Vodaphone we would have to increase the height to have two sets of antenna."

By Amy Thurston

02 November 2005



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November 2005

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