Play area unsuitable for phone mast plan

A MOBILE phone company has been refused planning permission to erect a phone mast next to a children's play area.

Hutchinson 3G wanted to erect the 12m mast, with its three-metre dish, in the car park of the Plough Inn at Mountsett in Dipton.

But Derwentside District Council's development control committee said the potential impact on health was uncertain and refused the application.

Committee chairman Eric Turner said: "Health concerns were the crux of the matter for the refusal of this application.

"It would be fine if we could put them in isolated areas but that will not always work because they need to be strategically placed to provide coverage."

As well as health concerns, councillors considered that the mast would detract from the area of outstanding natural beauty.

In the one letter of protest, neighbours raised worries about the impact the mast would have on wildlife as well its impact on local views.

People also questioned whether it would be safe as the area is prone to high winds.

The committee rejected the advice of senior planning officer Simon le Jeune, who recommended that the application be approved.

He said: "The site at the Plough Inn was selected because out of all the sites considered it was the most optimal environmental and network solution.

"The operator has a lack of coverage in this area and it is clear that the location of a new slim monopole mast in this location would be the most appropriate to meet their operational needs."

© Copyright 2005 Newsquest Media Group


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Januar 2005

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