8
Jun
2005

Vow to Orange: 'We'll be ready'

Epping Forest Guardian

By James Webb

DETERMINED residents have warned Orange "we'll be ready" after the phone company revealed that it may re-apply to put up a mast at Marlow Football Club.

People living near the stadium, in Oak Tree Road, are preparing to lock horns with the telecommunications giant once again. Orange is currently recover-ing from the recent shock of losing its fight to build an aerial.

The Secretary of State's Plann-ing Inspectorate threw out the 58ft application earlier this month, much to the delight of hundreds of protestors, including Green MEP Caroline Lucas.

Orange told the Free Press it would not be appealing against the decision which ruled the mast would harm the living conditions of neighbouring residents.

However, a spokesman said that they hadn't ruled out re-examining the possibility of submitting a new application.

She said: "That is still a possibility. It would not be the same as the previous application as that has already been refused but we can't confirm that we have ruled it out completely."

Residents celebrated the Planning Inspectorate's findings on Friday, May 13, which ruled the mast as "visually intrusive" and said it would "significantly impair" the lives of homeowners in Oak Tree Avenue.

However, it would appear that Orange is determined to push ahead with plans to extend its phone coverage across Marlow.

The spokesman added: "We won't be challenging the Planning Inspectorate's decision based on the fact that the inspector's comments were fair and we don't feel we would have grounds.

"However, we do still have a coverage requirement in the area and we will be sending out an engineer to the area sometime in the next few weeks. The old fire station was a site that we've lost so there is a degree of coverage which needs restoring."

She added: "The football club mast was to supply central Marl-ow so we are trying to build coverage in central Marlow at the same time as restoring coverage to that area.

Barry Fentiman, who helped set up the Local Marlow Community Campaign Group to block the mast application, warned Orange that the fight was not over.

He said: "We are very pleased that they are not going to be appealing against the decision and if they go for a different application on the football club we will be ready for them."

5:47pm Tuesday 7th June 2005
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