Firm bids to retain masts

Dec 29, 2005

The Chronicle Stafford and Stone, W Midlands

A mobile phone company has vowed to appeal against a decision to block a 12-month extension of planning permission for their temporary mast.

Hutchison 3G, which trades as 3, has had the rig and 15-metre high mast on land at Holme Farm, in Creswell, for a year.

Corporate affairs manager Verity Stanford, said: "We will be appealing - this is because the reasons that the planning inspectorate originally gave for the granting of approval back in 2004 still stand.

"That decision was based on the fact that there is clearly a need for coverage in the area.

"In the meantime, we will be looking at permanent options in the area."

The mast was intended to be temporary while Hutchison 3G looked for a permanent solution in the area.

One of the options is a new mast approximately 40 metres away from the current temporary one, which would mean three masts in the area.

Alternatively, they would wish to build a five metre extension onto an existing O2 mast, bringing it to 20 metres.

Hutchison 3G received planning permission for the second option in April 2002.

The request for another 12-months for the temporary mast was booted out by Stafford Borough Council planning committee members at their recent meeting amid claims that it was visually intrusive to the surrounding village and non-compliant with Government policy.

Creswell Parish Council also objected to the plan claiming that even though the initial application was temporary until a permanent mast was installed, two other masts have have been built at the site.

It said that over the last 12 months four residents within 400 metres of the three masts had developed cancer.

This was in addition to 10 people who contracted the disease in the effective transmission range of one kilometre from masts over the past four years.

Residents in Creswell have also lodged objections with the borough council, asking for the site to blacklisted from any further mobile mast applications and saying that the retention of the temporary mast would contravene Government guidelines on sharing.

Councillor for Seighford ward - where Holme Farm is situated - Ray Sutherland said: "The thing that concerns me is the proliferation.

"What is it that these mast companies have against Creswell? Why are these companies not sharing other masts?"



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Dezember 2005

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