Mobile mast battle: first round to residents

PROTESTERS are celebrating a first victory in their battle against a mobile phone mast being put up close to their homes.

Councillors unanimously voted to oppose Hutchison 3G's plan to erect a 12m high mast near the Hazel Stubb roundabout on Haverhill by-pass.

More than 400 people have already signed a petition opposing the scheme and banner-waving protesters greeted members of St Edmundsbury Borough Council's development control committee as they carried out a site inspection on Thursday.

Although the committee does not have the power to refuse the application, members agreed unanimously to object to it when they returned to council offices to discuss the matter.

Planning officers will now negotiate with Hutchison 3G to try and find an alternative site.

Protester Rob Sanderson said: "We are delighted. It was a very sensible decision because if this application was approved it would open the floodgates and no housing estate would be safe."

Councillors objected to the mast as being close to a busy roundabout and listed buildings, visually intrusive, and detracting from the amenity of the countryside.

Coun Jeremy Farthing said he had received more objections to this plan than anything else in seven years as a councillor. He described it as "presumptuous, premature and arrogant" for 3G to seek to put up the mast.


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April 2005

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