30
Nov
2005

PHONE MAST BLUNDER SLAMMED

Dec 1 2005

Renato Castello

THREE mobile phone masts refused planning permission have been erected on the Isle of Dogs because of a Tower Hamlets Council ``cock-up''.

Telecommunications giant Orange has installed the 10metre tall masts along Manchester Road because the council failed, within the legal timeframe, to notify the company that it had refused its application.

Unlike other structures, masts can be built by default if the council does not inform applicants within six weeks of it refusing an application.

In this instance, the council sent out the refusal notification a day before the six-week deadline and by second class post.

The masts, which have been designed to look like street lights, have been installed outside the Island Gardens DLR station, on the corner of Manchester Road and Glengarnock Avenue and outside Farnworth House, in Manchester Road.

The council had refused the masts in August 2004 following petitioning from residents. Conservative campaigner Tim Archer, who alerted The Wharf to the matter, said it was a ``cock-up''.

He said: ``This is sheer incompetence by the Labour-run council.

``Last year residents got the masts rejected and then the council can't even be relied upon to send out the legal notice in time.

``Part of me wonders if they did it on purpose. I suppose they will still be getting the rental income from the operator.''

A council spokesperson said the council ``regretted'' the mistake and said it was a ``one-off '' incident.

She added: ``The council takes all representations it receives on planning proposals very seriously and regrets that, on this occasion, those objections were ineffective.''

She said the council has changed its procedures so that all phone mast applications will be determined within 46 days and, if refused, telecommunication companies will be advised by recorded delivery.

//icthewharf.icnetwork.co.uk/thisweek/news/tm_objectid=16432577&method=full&siteid=71670&headline=phone-mast-blunder-slammed-name_page.html
//icthewharf.icnetwork.co.uk/thisweek/news/tm_objectid=16432577&method=full&siteid=71670&headline=phone-mast-blunder-slammed-name_page.html#story_continue
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