13
Jan
2006

3G MAST PLAN SLAMMED

South Tyneside Today

13.01.06

COUNCILLORS are objecting to plans to site an "imposing" mobile phone mast in their South Shields ward.

Hutchinson 3G UK, which trades as 3, wants to build a 12.5m pole in the north east corner of Horsley Hill Square.

The company, a new entrant in the mobile market, is building up its video mobile (3G) network and wants to provide coverage to the Horsley Hill area.

A number of sites were considered before the preferred option was put to planners at South Tyneside Council.

Couns Iain Malcolm and Arthur Meeks are objecting to the plans on the basis of its location.

They are also concerned about the number of masts already in the ward.

Coun Malcolm, deputy leader of the council, said: "It is less than eight months since a request to put up mobile phone support apparatus within the Horsley Hill ward.

"I am becoming increasingly alarmed at the number of requests for mobile phone masts in my ward and the East Shields area."

He added that although he does not personally oppose mobile phone masts on health grounds, the concerns of residents have to be taken into account.

"I believe that less obtrusive sites can be found, taking into account constituents' feelings about the siting of such equipment," he said.
Hutchinson 3G said it had considered and rejected other sites, including Holy Rosary Church, Horsley Hill Community Centre, Cheviot Court and the TA Centre.

In a letter to councillors, regional community affairs manager Michael Alexander said site sharing was investigated, but discounted for a variety of reasons.

He added: "It will be seen in the same context as the existing street lighting columns that are currently present at the roundabout and also the CCTV camera pole that the proposed installation is within proximity to and shares similar attributes.

"The location of the site is within a predominantly commercial area, as far from residential areas and schools as possible, while still being able to provide the minimum coverage requirements for the area."

Coun Malcolm rejected the claim that it is a non-residential area, and said he would be happy to accompany Mr Alexander on a site visit.
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