Triumph in mast fight

By Faye Casey
Midlands Express and Star, Birmimngham

Jan 6, 2006

Campaigners in Lichfield are celebrating after controversial plans to install a mobile phone mast in their community were thrown out.

More than 1,600 people had signed a petition objecting to the proposals by the company T-Mobile to install a 14.7 metre high mast on land at Ryknild Street, at the junction with Tamworth Road.

And their fight to stop the mast from being installed ended in victory when Lichfield District Council turned down the scheme because it would be an intrusive feature next to the Green Belt and would harm the views of residents.

The campaign was organised by the Boley Park Action Group, which was formed last year to fight plans by Orange for a mast in Darnford Lane.

The group attracted a wealth of support from the community, and handed over a 1,500 name petition to the council. The Orange mast plan was turned down in February 2005.

Alan Begley, action group spokesman, said everyone was absolutely delighted to hear the T-Mobile mast had also been turned down.

The phone giant claimed the mast was needed to improve mobile phone coverage in the area, but the proposal caused outrage.

The action group had expressed grave concern about the safety of children in the area - at King Edward VI High School and at the playgroup at Boley Park Community Centre- saying they would be at risk from radiation.

"We are delighted and very happy to learn the mast has been turned down," said Mr Begley. "This will protect the park as a utility, the residents of Boley Park and a Grade II listed building within the vicinity.

"Common sense has prevailed.

"Undoubtedly, it is people's letters and the petition that has won the day on this.

"And we got more names on the petition this time - which shows concern against masts is rising."


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