Protestors ready for mast fight

Published: 5th January 2006

OBJECTORS to a mobile phone mast proposed for Manchester Old Road have pulled together once again as the plans go to appeal.

Planning permission to build a T-Mobile mast on ground in front of the West Croft Industrial Estate was refused by the Middleton Township Planning Sub-Committee back in September, on the grounds that such an erection could have an adverse effect on the local area.

But T-Mobile appealed against the decision and the deadline for residents to once again raise their objections, this time to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol, was last Monday.

At the original meeting a representative from T-Mobile said that the proposed mast would fit in with local street furniture, standing in between existing streetlamps of a similar height, and that the company had also rejected other proposed sites as they were closer to residential areas.

They also pointed out that erecting this mast near an existing one that already stands just 30m from the proposed site would not encourage further masts to be built, but instead decrease the likelihood as phone companies could come together and use each other’s technology.

But they were opposed by an entourage of approximately 15 objectors who helped to convince the committee that such a mast was not wanted in Rhodes – and the residents have risen once again.

Councillor Peter Williams, just one of the objectors, has many reservations about the proposed mast – not least that the siting of a new control box at its base could ‘provide cover for unsavoury characters’ of the type that frequent Rhodes Lodges.

He wrote to the inspectorate: "The reason for my strong objections to the application are that one phone mast already exists near the application site and there was no evidence that the company had tried to liaise with the owners of the original mast to see if there could be co-location as is recommended practice.

"The addition of a further mast in the area will set a principle for further masts to be sited there and it is unacceptable to the residents that they bear the brunt of mobile phone technology for the Rhodes area.

"A further mast at this site, so close to the other mast, would represent an unacceptable increase in street clutter by the side of the road at the entrance to Rhodes village."

First published by the Middleton Guardian



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