17
Mrz
2005

T Mobile trying to monopolise Manchester

Having seen that T Mobile are trying to get a mast up in Heaton Mersey, I'd just like to say that I and a large group of Whalley Range residents in Manchester are trying to fight T mobile's decision to site a mast on the grounds of whalley range football club. Just like the case in Heaton Mersey, the site concerned is bordered by houses with lots of young children and the field itself is used by children.

I was told by the planning officer in charge of this case that he had met with T Mobile yesterday and that T Mobile had said that they were going ahead with their plans despite their being so much local opposition. Basically they are not interested in what people think. More worryingly T Mobile told the planning office that they would take Manchester city council to court if they refused the application. This sounds like bully tactics to me.

I would like information from anyone as to do what to do next. The mast concerned does not need formal planning permission as it would be 14.8 metres in height. Does anyone know of solicitors who specialise in these cases who would be able to offer their services free of charge.

Also I am trying to get in touch with the group of campaigners in Tameside who successfully appealed against Tameside council's decision to allow a mast.

Please email me at: nationalphobic@btconnect.com

Thanks

Nicky Lidbetter, Senior Manager, National Phobics Society
Zion Community Resource Centre, 339 Stretford Road, Hulme
Manchester, M15 4ZY, Tel: 0870 7700 456, Fax: 0161 227 9862
Email: nationalphobic@btconnect.com
Website: //www.phobics-society.org.uk

--------

Nicky,

I refer to our previous exchanges of 23 February to 1 March. As I recall it, Manchester City Council told your group that "they could do nothing to prevent the T-Mobile development going through". Following advice, you challenged this line and the planning authority recognised that an application for Prior Approval was (is) required. We left matters awaiting submission of that application.

It is completely unsurprising that the operator is going forward despite the strong local opposition. That said, I would be astonished if T-Mobile really has threatened court action if the application is refused; - this is vexatious and any paper notification of this intent would be a powerful tool in the hands of the Council's solicitor. I have to wonder if this is scaremongering by the said planning officer.

Whatever the facts, this should in no way affect the due planning process in accordance with law. If such an application is refused by the relevant Council planning committee, T-Mobile will have 6 months in which to lodge an appeal. Should it do so, this appeal will be heard by an Inspector appointed by the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol who will decide whether to "allow" or "dismiss" it. If the Inspector dismisses such an appeal, then T-Mobile may decide to take the matter to the High Court - in which case the legal action will be between T-Mobile on the one hand and the First Secretary of State (on behalf of the Planning Inspectorate) on the other. This represents the due process.

At 14.8 metres, the mast requires a determination of Prior Approval and there is a well-established procedure for this. There is little point in contacting a solicitor at this stage - there is nothing for him to do.

As regards Thameside, the public did not appeal - the public have no right to do so. In the interests of accuracy, the mast was refused by committee (no doubt as a result, in part, of campaign pressure); T-Mobile lodged an appeal against the decision which the Planning Inspector dismissed.

Please come back to me as soon as the application is submitted.

Regards.

David Baron


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