'No' to mast plan

Wednesday 20 April 2005

'No' to mast plan

Plans to site a mobile phone mast close to homes on a Bicester estate have been refused.

Mobile phone firm O2 wanted to install a 40ft mast beside Southwold Lane, opposite the Southwold estate and between the Banbury Road roundabout and the Caversfield/ Fringford turn.

Cherwell District Council's south area planning committee turned down the application on the grounds that it would be an eyesore and too close to homes.

O2 said it would appeal against the decision and it believed local people and planners had no objection to the application.

Chairman Catherine Fulljames said: "Generally the committee thought it was ugly and too close to houses."

But she pointed out the committee could only consider planning issues and not any alleged health risks.

Andy Bowne, a sales manager, of Juniper Gardens, Southwold, thought the mask was a health risk but was also concerned that not enough residents had been consulted.

He said: "I'm pleased and I think it's very unusual. If there is concern about health risks, the council has an obligation to residents."

Chris Partridge, chairman of Southwold Community Association, said he was delighted.

"Everyone on the committee was against it. We are all aware these masts have to go somewhere, but this was not the best place. It would have been a real eyesore."

Jim Stevenson, a spokesman for O2, said: "We are very disappointed. We did speak to local people and we thought we had their backing and the planning authority's."


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April 2005

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