12
Jun
2005

PHONE MAST PLAN NARROWLY REJECTED

by Ewen McNamee

Jun 10 2005

A LIVINGSTON community are celebrating another victory in their ongoing battle against mobile phone masts.

Plans to build a 14.5 metre mast at the Territorial Army (TA) centre in Beveridge Square , Dedridge, were narrowly rejected by councillors at a meeting last week.

West Lothian Council’s development control sub-committee voted by five votes to four to refuse the application, following sustained pressure from the Dedridge community.

A petition organised by local resident Archie Douglas, combined with a united campaign by Councillor Danny Logue and Dedridge Community Council, helped persuade councillors to vote against the council’s planning officers’ recommendations.

Dedridge Councillor Danny Logue explained: “This is our third time in defeating the same application and, of course, we are very pleased.

“Our main concern was how close the mast was to the James Young High School and nearby houses and what long-term impact it could have on people’s health.

“It is pleasing to think we have scored a victory over a large multi-national corporation.

“There are a number of phone mast applications in the pipeline for Dedridge, including one coming up soon for Staunton Pond, so this won’t be the last battle we have to fight.”

He added: “I hope now we can have a round-the-table meeting with planning officers, the mobile phone companies and Dedridge Community Council.

“There are more acceptable locations for masts, and we would like them to look into mast sharing in the town centre as well, to limit the number in the area.

“I know they are unsightly but the main priority must be keeping them away from schools and residential areas. I recently counted four masts at the Lizzie Brice garage alone.”

Vodaphone hoped to use the planned mast to provide coverage for Livingston town centre, specifically to improve 3G coverage in the area.

They currently have a mast at council headquarters on the roof of West Lothian House, which is due to be removed next year.

Consultations are being held on a number of possible 3G phone masts sites across West Lothian, with residents in Bathgate and Livingston Village already campaigning against masts in their areas.
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