13
Jan
2006

PROTEST CALLS A HALT TO MOBILE MAST SCHEME

Lincolnshire Echo

09:30 - 13 January 2006

Residents are celebrating a partial success in a campaign to stop mobile phone masts being built near their homes.

Mobile phone operator O2 has announced that its plans to put up a new mast in Birchwood Avenue, Lincoln, have been withdrawn.

Residents say the decision due to pressure from them to stop the mast being built near their children.

But this is only one step in the fight, as two further applications for masts just up the road are still in the pipeline.

Birchwood area Lincoln city councillor Steve Allnut said it was a triumph for local democracy.

"We do realise that O2 have a weak reception in Birchwood and Doddington Park and need to place a new phone mast in the area, but we were opposed to that being right in the middle of the residential area," he said.

"When we heard they had applied for a mast on Birchwood Avenue, opposite Aldergrove Crescent, residents used their powers to oppose the plans by writing letters of opposition.

"Clearly that has worked and we are very pleased. We are now suggesting other options to them."

But both O2 and Hutchinson 3G have put in appeals against recent decisions to refuse planning permission for mobile phone masts in the bus turning circle in Birchwood Avenue.

The results of these appeals are yet to be announced.

Volunteer co-ordinator at Birchwood Access and Training Centre, Tracey Skinner, said she didn't know why more masts were needed in the area.

"I know people were very concerned about having another mast near to their homes when there are already a few in this area, so I'm glad about the result," she said.

O2 regional communications manager Ann McCracken said they had withdrawn one application to site a mast in the street.

"We had been looking at our options for a mast in the area and had submitted a planning application for a mast in the street, but we withdrew this application in December," she said.

"In the meantime, we have lodged an appeal against the decision not to grant planning permission for the mast in the turning circle."

Hutchinson 3G spokesman Brian Spooner said: "Our application for a mast in Birchwood Avenue was turned down by the local authority.

"We are now investigating the situation in Birchwood Avenue and will inform residents if we do decide to put in another application or to appeal."
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