Mast objection catch 22 for residents of Burley

Ilkley Gazette

Plans to site a phone mast opposite a Burley-in-Wharfedale housing estate are meeting with opposition from local people.

Residents of the Sandholme estate are said to be in a state of shock after discovering the plan for a strip of land opposite their homes.

And they claim they are in a catch 22 situation after being told they are not allowed to object on health grounds.

T Mobile has submitted a prior notification of the installation of a 15m mast with antennae, transmission dish and radio equipment at land north of Langroyd, on Bradford Road .

And local people have been told they have until Saturday, June 4, to get their views across.

Brian Garlick, who lives on Bradford Road "virtually next door" to the proposed site said he was one of just a handful of neighbours who received official notification of the plan from Bradford Council.

He now wants to make sure all the local residents are made aware of the application before the deadline passes.

He said: "It is absolutely shocking that this is planned for a thin strip of land opposite a housing estate. Everyone I have spoken to is in a state of shock really"

Mr Garlick said he was concerned about the possible health risks, and he argued that the mast should be sited away from housing estates - preferably in a position with fields on both sides of the road.

He stressed: "There are mixed feelings from the experts, and until we absolutely know for sure we should err on the side of caution."

But he added: "If they are blasé enough to build next to schools what hope is there."

Mr Garlick claims many people in Burley are unaware of the plan or unsure of the proposed location.

He stressed: "I want to raise people's awareness on this issue. It is not just a rumour anymore - it is actually happening.

Mr Garlick says he has been told the council's planning department can only consider objections on planning grounds such as car parking and traffic - and that objections on health grounds will not be valid.

He stressed: "What annoys me is that they say you cannot argue about it on the grounds of health - but as we have tried to point out they are the very grounds everyone wants to oppose it on. It is like a catch 22 situation."

His neighbour Dr Barbara Metcalfe is objecting to the plan on the grounds of traffic problems and safety.

Dr Metcalfe, a research biologist, said it was already extremely difficult and potentially dangerous to turn onto Bradford Road from the Sandholme estate. She believes this problem will be exacerbated by the siting of a mast on the corner.

She said: "Anything that is put on the bend of the road will obstruct the view. It is hellish getting out onto Bradford Road already."

Burley Community Council Chairman Bruce Speed said BCC was aware of the proposed mast and its exact position was being checked.

He added: "Our view is that it should not be immediately opposite the end of Sandholme Drive , because of the traffic danger from its layby when service vehicles are parked. It should be at the North end of the Staithe away from the junction."

He added: "It would have been better on the existing mast on the old Otley Road , shared with the existing user, but we heard that had been rejected."

Mr Garlick is asking anyone who wants to comment on the plan to write to the Senior planner Martynn Burke, at Ilkley Town Hall , Ilkley LS29 8HB, or e-mail martyn.burke@bradford.gov.uk.

The application number is 05/03123/PNT.


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Juni 2005

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