17
Mai
2005

DECISION ON PHONE MAST IS DELAYED

Bath Chronicle

11:00 - 17 May 2005

Residents protesting against a controversial mobile phone mast being sited close to their homes will have to wait another month to discover whether their campaign has been successful. Councillors last night put off making a decision on whether to allow phone company Hutchinson 3G to put a mast on top of the Smile convenience store in Bear Flat, and will now visit the site.

Yesterday's meeting was the latest twist in the long-running saga over the siting of masts in Bear Flat.

Earlier this year, local anti- mast protesters had their hopes lifted when phone operator O2 agreed to consider siting a mast away from the residential area, and instead install one at Alexandra Park.

But Hutchinson 3G then applied for a mast in the same area, which is at the junction of Wellsway and Wells Road.

Councillors at yesterday's meeting of Bath and North East Somerset Council's Bath south local committee were recommended by officers to permit the flagpole-type mast and dish.

Cllr David Bellotti (Lib Dem, Lyncombe) voiced his opposition to the proposal, and called on Hutchinson 3G and O2 to share a site. He said: "I am greatly concerned by the recommendation in this report because as a committee we have lodged our opinion of masts in Bear Flat.

"The Government is quite clear that mobile phone operators should talk to each other with a view to sharing sites.

"We all know that O2 is going to put in an application in Alexandra Park and should we decide that location is acceptable, Hutchinson should be told to go there and share that mast."

Objections to the new application have been fierce and the proposal prompted 182 letters of protest. Concerns have ranged from worries about potential health risks to concerns about the impact on property prices.

Hutchinson 3G has so far ruled out mast-sharing with O2 in the Bear Flat area.
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