Phone mast victory

Dan Rosenberg is with Public Interest Lawyers.

What follows is self-explanatory - read and enjoy. I will continue a dialogue with Dan and his client, not least in order to ascertain the future career prospects of the inept Wycombe DC officers responsible.

David B

Dear David and Karen

Further to your emails and my conversation with David, I set out very brief details of the case below.

We acted for David Reynolds of Marlow, Bucks. Together with other local residents, he had opposed a 'prior approval' application by T-Mobile for a mast adjacent to his house. 135 residents had signed a petition against the mast, and numerous residents had written in to Wycombe District Council opposing the mast. Approval for the mast was given under delegated powers on 22 October 2004. All local ward councillors had objected to the mast.

We lodged a Judicical Review application just before the 3 month deadline expired in January. We were challenging on three main grounds:

(i) The coverage map submitted on behalf of the applicant was potentially misleading as it failed to show the coverage from another T-Mobile site which had recently obtained planning permission. This had the potential to affect judgments of and suggestions for alternative sites.

(ii) The applicant's agent made an error with regard to the location of a potential site share Orange mast. They gave its grid reference as the farm buildings of the farm whose land it was on. It was actually over the hill from the farm buildings. This obviously affects that potential site as an alternative.

(iii) The local authority did not consult the local school, which was 150 metres from the mast, contrary to PPG 8. The operator had, and the school had not responded. We obtained a witness statement from the headteacher explaining the initial lack of response, and the response she would have made had she been consulted by the local authority. Wycombe DC rather bizarrely tried to explain their lack of consultation with the school by explaining that it was not near to the mast.

Wycombe DC submitted their Grounds of Resistance, but following discussions with T-Mobile's solicitors decided not to continue defending the case.

The final consent order went to the court today. The mast had already been erected, and by the terms of the Order it will not be made operational unless a full (retrospective) planning application is allowed. If the application is rejected, the mast will be removed.

David Reynolds and the other residents now anticipate fighting that further planning application.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can also put Mr. Reynolds in touch with you if you wish.

Kind regards

Dan Rosenberg

From: david baron
Sent: 07 June 2005 19:21
To: Dan Rosenberg
Subject: Phone mast victory: - R (Reynolds) v Wycombe DC

Dear Mr Rosenberg,

By way of introduction, I am a trustee and member of Mast Sanity and have been sent your e-mail exchange with Karen Barratt, our Communications Director, with the request that I respond to you.

As the member of Mast Sanity responsible for advising on planning matters, I am constantly being asked for the contact details of solicitors with expert knowledge in the field. Your firm is, as you will know, on our list and thus we are particularly delighted to hear about your success in having High Wycombe's decision quashed. We are most certainly interested in giving this case the widest possible circulation and accordingly would be most grateful for full details.

Thank you for getting in touch with us and I look forward to hearing from you.

David Baron


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Juni 2005

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