Red flags go up in bid to seek new sites for masts

PLANS for mobile phone masts in Menston and Ilkley are being opposed by Ilkley parish council planners.

Ilkley Parish Council's plans committee say they would be against a speculative plan by Hutchison 3G to put up a mast at Ilkley Tennis Club.

And plans by another operator for a mast in a residential area of Menston have been withdrawn following parish councillors' decision to oppose the scheme.

Residents of Menston's Farnley Road protested against mobile phone network T Mobile's plan to put up a mast at the nearby Menston Social Club on Coultas Close.

They argued that the mast would spoil the appearance of the residential area and could lower house prices.

They also feared the unknown long-term effects on health, particularly that of children living nearby.

But T Mobile withdrew the plan on Friday.

Bradford councillor Chris Greaves (Con, Wharfedale) was also against the proposed mast. He said: "They obviously thought it wasn't a good idea and they were not going to get a sympathetic hearing."

He called for any future Menston mast plans by the company to be at a `sensible' site, in an area which would not be too intrusive.

Ilkley Parish Council recently announced its opposition to a number of proposed masts in Menston, including a full planning application 82-foot mast on high ground on the outskirts of the village. Chairman of the plans committee, Councillor Kate Brown, said there had been a lot of letters from residents objecting to the Coultas Close mast.

Meanwhile, the parish council has also learned that another mobile phone company, Hutchison 3G, has moved its attention from Ilkley's Golden Butts Road to Ilkley Tennis Club, on Stourton Road.

And although there is already a mast at the club, parish councillors said they would oppose putting up another mast there. Hutchison, recently highlighted Christopher Binns Funeral Directors on Golden Butts Road as its preferred site for a mast in Ilkley. Residents living nearby protested, and Binns announced it had considered and rejected Hutchison's proposal.

In a consultation letter it sent to homes on Golden Butts Road, Hutchison said it had looked at a number of possible sites for a mast in Ilkley, including several churches, the historic Myddelton Lodge, and Ilkley Tennis Club.

The parish council has now been sent an initial consultation letter from Hutchison, asking for views on the possibility of putting up a new mast at the tennis club.

Councillor Brown said councillors felt the club's green belt surroundings were too sensitive for further masts, and they were worried about encouraging a proliferation of mobile phone masts, when there was already a mast at the club.

l Menston families recently took their campaign against the proposed Coultas Close mast to the streets with a protest banner.

Children worked on the banner, which was put up on Farnley Road in a bid by families to mobilise as many residents as possible against the mast plans. Parents wanted to publicise their campaign, to inform residents who had not received consultation letters, and encourage residents from other streets to join in the protest.

Posted Thursday 26 May 2005


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