14
Jun
2005

Joy for families as mast bid rejected

Norwich Evening News

14 June 2005 12:01

Families have won their battle to have plans for a mobile phone mast near their homes scrapped.

Proposals to put up a 15-metre mast in Colman Road , Norwich , have been thrown out by planning officers.

More than 500 residents signed up to a campaign against the mast, which was planned by mobile phone giant O2.

Roy Blower, who helped orchestrate the campaign, welcomed the planners' decision.

He said: "I'm pleased that the public have galvanised and we have got a result.

"Bearing in mind the amount of opposition there was against this application I'm not surprised at the decision.

"It's good for local families because they did not want the mast here."

Norwich City Council's planning department confirmed the application by O2 had been given delegated refusal, meaning it did not even get to the stage of going before councillors for approval.

The city council was not able to divulge why the plans had been rejected.

Mr Blower said: "Our main objection was over the potential visual impact of the mast.

"It was going to be about 50ft high — which is about double the size of a house.

"The community was angry about this because three years ago we had to fight against a similar mast at a site just 50 yards from the new one and that was rejected.

"It would have been a blot on the landscape and we are trying to improve the environment not make it worse."

The site chosen by O2 was a small-planted area near the Moss Pharmacy in Colman Road .

A spokeswoman for O2 said: "We are very disappointed with the decision because this mast would have formed a key part of our network.

"We still need a cell site in the area and we will be making the decision to look elsewhere."

She said because of increased usage of mobile phones more masts had to be put up to help keep up required coverage.

In December 2002 telecommunications company Hutchinson 3G submitted plans to the city council to put up a 13-metre mast next to the Colman Road Area Housing Office car park.

A petition was raised against the application on the grounds it would have a negative impact of the surroundings, the proposals were thrown out soon after.

The Evening News has long campaigned for no more mobile phone masts to be sited near homes and schools until research proves they are safe.

· Are you trying to stop a mobile phone mast being built near you? Telephone Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on (01603) 772439 or e-mail peter.walsh@archant.co.uk
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