BATTLE of Colman Road


02 January 2006 11:45

Families are facing a fresh battle to stop a mobile phone mast being installed near their homes after a telecommunication giant appealed against a decision to throw it out.

More than 500 people signed a petition against the application by O2 for a 15metre mast near to the Moss Pharmacy in Colman Road.

The campaign, which was orchestrated by University ward councillor Roy Blower, led to planning officers throwing the proposal out in June.

Norwich City Council was not able to divulge why the plans had been rejected, although the council's planning department confirmed the application had been given delegated refusal.

That meant it was rejected before it reached the stage of going before councillors for approval.

However delight for the campaigners has proved short-lived as the phone giant has lodged an appeal with Norwich City Council.

A spokeswoman for O2 previously saidbecause of increased usage of mobile phones more masts had to be put up to help keep up required coverage.

"I'm hopeful that when the appeal is heard common sense will prevail," said Mr Blower.

"We're not arguing only on the grounds of health, but the total intrusion of the mast in a residential area is not what the community wants. I think other alternative sites could be looked at and for commercial reasons they haven't, so I'm hopeful that common sense will prevail."

Paul Brock, owner of Collins Fish Bar which has branches on Colman Road and Dereham Road, said he was disappointed O2 had decided to appeal.

"The majority of our customers are from that area and we support whatever the locals want and they obviously don't want it," he said.

"It would be sad if the people who have signed the petition lost. I don't really know what else you can do — O2 are a big company to fight."

The Evening News has campaigned, through the Put Masts on Hold campaign, against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe.

Dr Ian Gibson, a long-time supporter of our campaign, said: "Lets hope the planning committee can be consistent and help remove these hated masts."

In December 2002 telecommunications company Hutchinson 3G submitted plans to the city council to put up a 13m mast next to the Colman Road Area Housing Office car park.

A petition was raised against the application on the grounds it would have a negative impact of the surroundings the proposals were thrown out soon after.

Are you battling mobile phone mast plans where you live? Telephone Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on (01603) 772439 or e-mail peter.walsh@archant.co.uk



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