I'll quit vows pub landlord

The Derbyshire Times

A publican has vowed to give up his business and move his family from Wessington if plans to site a 17-metre mobile phone mast in the village go ahead.

Scott Brown, landlord of the Three Horseshoes, says he and his family will pack up and leave if Orange and the farmers on whose land the mast would be erected do not listen to him and other campaigners and resite the mast.

A meeting was due to be held between the farmers – the Easom family – Orange and the protesters last night.

"Safety guidelines state that a mast should not be erected within 200 metres of a school and they say this one will be 300 metres from our school," said Mr Brown.

"But the children use the village green and I have measured the distance from the pole and that takes them well within the 200-metre safety zone.

"They have a choice of where to site this pole, but the children at the school will have no choice if they put it up. I cannot put my children in that sort of danger."

Mr Brown has erected a sign outside his pub urging villagers to join his petition and flyers stating "The future's bleak, the future's Orange," are going up around the village.

NE Derbyshire District Council granted planning permission for the mast at Nether Green Farm, Moorwood Moor Lane.

Villagers are angry because the permission was delegated to head of planning and development Keith Hill rather than going before the planning committee.

A district council spokesman said: "All local planning authorities have 56 days in which to process this type of telecommunications application. If they do not make a decision within 56 days the applicant automatically gets consent.

"In the case at Wessington, there was not a planning committee due to meet within 56 days of the application. Under the council's scheme of delegated powers it was allowed to decide on the matter without it going to the planning committee."

Villagers say they did not know about the application until a month before it was decided, despite the application having been made a year ago.

Orange spokeswoman Sue Hammett said the company had written to the school, parish council and the nearest residents, informing them of the planning application.

She said they received a letter from the parish council voicing concerns about the siting of the mast and wrote back asking if the council could suggest an alternative site.

"We expected the parish council to put this information out to the community so if the villagers did not know about the application, they need to look to them."

06 May 2005


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