The Citizen, Gloucester

09:30 - 08 December 2005

City planners have been urged to make a stand against the number of phone masts being set up in Gloucester.

Two applications were put forward at a meeting of the city council's planning committee on Tuesday evening. Both were submitted by telecommunications giant O2 (UK) Ltd, to erect 15 metre tall structures in Painswick Road.

The council can only turn down plans if it can prove the siting and appearance of the mast is unreasonable.

No health issues can be considered in any application and, if the council rejects a proposal, it could face large costs if the decision is overturned on appeal.

The first planned mast, on a grass verge outside Saintbridge RFC in Matson, was granted permission after councillors admitted they could not find a planning reason to reject the proposals.

However, the plans for the second mast, on a grass verge on land between Painswick Road and Briar Lane in Abbeydale, met with more opposition.

City actress Jean Carlin, who lives near the proposed site, spoke against the plans.

She said: "Soon people will not even be able to talk to each other, before too long everyone will just walk around speaking into these stupid little machines.

"This is a serious matter and I believe it is up to people like you to get the ball rolling and to say enough is enough."

Coun Andrew Gravells, who represents the Abbeydale area on the city council, also spoke against the plans.

He said: "I am upset by this application. The site slopes quite significantly and the impact of placing a 15 metre tall mast here would be massive upon many people in Abbeydale."

Coun Gravells added that he believed a more suitable site away from nearby houses could be found for the mast.

Coun Mary Smith, a member of the committee, agreed, saying: "We need to send a clear message that putting a mast in the middle of a residential area is not acceptable when just 100 yards up the road the houses are far more scattered."

The committee decided to refuse planning permission on the grounds that the mast would spoil the amenity of the surrounding area and would be situated on one of the main approaches to the city.


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Dezember 2005

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