Mast plan gets go-ahead

Dundee Evening Telegraph and Post

Mobile phone company Vodafone will be able to put up a 14.5-metre mast in Strathmartine Road, Dundee, after the Scottish Executive overturned a decision by councillors.

Last year the development quality committee voted 21 to six to refuse planning permission for the mast, close to Cox Street, on the grounds that it was near an existing mast and would affect the environmental quality enjoyed by residents.

Council officials had recommended approval because Vodafone had looked at 18 alternative sites but had been forced to discard them because they were technically unsuitable or too close to houses.

Vodafone appealed to the Executive’s planning inquiry unit. A company spokeswoman said the mast was needed to improve customer service and its height was not unusual for an urban area.

The Executive has now granted planning permission for the development, including an antenna, equipment housing and compound, to go ahead at 534b Strathmartine Road.

Meanwhile, Airwave O2 has lodged an application asking the council to remove a specific no TETRA condition imposed on a mast at Peacehill Farm, by Wormit, even although they have no plans to use the site.

In February, North East Fife Environment and Development Committee approved an application by Orange PCS for a 13-metre mobile phone (2G) mast. But, because of objections from locals and health concerns associated with the controversial TETRA system, councillors added a condition there should be no addition of such equipment at the site.

A spokesman from Airwave O2 defended TETRA and said they could not let the condition go without fighting against it.

He said; “We have no plans, or need for a mast or a site share. But we felt on principle we couldn’t let this blatant discrimination against TETRA go un-opposed and are asking for that condition to be removed.”

Arthur Jarrett, who has campaigned against TETRA masts and is a member of Scottish Action on TETRA, praised councillors for including the condition in the original application and urged concerned locals to object to Airwave’s attempt to have the ban removed.

He said; “I think it was the first time a local authority had done such a thing and councillors thought carefully about this condition.

“It can’t have been well received, especially as some of these companies have exercised an almost devious right to do what they like elsewhere.

“Airwave O2 simply don’t want any council development committee acting in the interest of communities and pro-actively blocking them out. They certainly don’t want Fife councillors to create such a dangerous precedent, which might sensibly be followed elsewhere.

“This is really the company and industry teaching councillors all over Britain a lesson, putting them in their place and making sure they stay there.

“Local people who have appreciated the effort made by North East Fife councillors, now require to act swiftly again to object to Airwave O2’s application to undo their protection.”


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Mai 2005

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