31
Mai
2005

End of the line for phone mast row

Warrington News 31st May 2005

THE war of words over a proposal to erect a mobile phone mast on a church tower in Orford Green is finally over after the church council decided to abandon the plans.

After months of heated debate between parishioners of St Margaret and All Hallows Church , residents and ward councillors, the church council agreed to scrap the plans, despite them being approved by the borough council's development control committee.

The community's argument centred upon the safety issues surrounding mobile phone masts in residential areas while the church stood to gain financially from the deal with T Mobile.

But last week, following a meeting with the church council, St Margaret's decided not to proceed with the controversial mast.

Now residents say they are keen to build bridges with the church and particularly the Reverend John Reed, vicar of St Margaret's.

Yoko Warburton, one of the residents who opposed the mast, said: "I feel that our message at last reached the church and the very people who make the decisions.

"I don't feel we 'won' because I don't want to think of it as some kind of battle between the church and residents.

"It was more a matter of getting them to change their viewpoint over ways of raising the church maintenance fund.

"Risking residents' health was definitely not the way forward.

"The way the church handled the issue from start to finish was all wrong and completely inappropriate.

"Nothing was said to the residents in the first place, hardly anyone was aware of what was going on and we weren't publicly notified but we should now move on from this and start working together."

Mike Hannon, ward and borough councillor, who opposed the proposal, said: "I am pleased that the church council has listened to the concerns of the community and taken a decision that will benefit the community at large."

The church declined to comment on the matter.
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