9
Jul
2005

Phone mast row decision due

by Chris Greenwood
York Today

A MOBILE phone mast row is set to be decided next week when councillors consider plans for two in the Fulford area of York .

T-Mobile have applied for permission of a 14.7-metre telecommunications pole with three antennae at the junction of Broadway and Heslington Lane, and for an identical pole in Heslington Lane opposite the former Fairways Garden Centre.

City of York Council officers are recommending that no objections should be raised to the Broadway application, saying it would not cause undue harm to public health, residential amenity or the area's character and appearance.

But they are recommending refusal for the other proposal, saying it is inappropriate in the Green Belt and would cause harm to the area's character and appearance.

However, Coun Keith Aspden, the Liberal Democrat councillor for Fulford, is calling for the east area planning and transport committee, which meets next Thursday, to vote the other way round.

He told the Evening Press there had been a long-running battle by local residents over a number of years to keep telecommunications poles away from their houses, and only one of the schemes needed approval to give the network the coverage it required.

He said all residents were very concerned about the impact of poles on their area, but if they were required, the correct sites must be selected.

Coun Aspden said: "The application opposite the former garden centre has much more public support - across all political parties in Fulford - and I hope that the planning committee rejects the officers' recommendation of refusal for this site."

He said the site was preferable to the Broadway scheme because it would have a lower impact on the living conditions of people nearby, as it would be 80 metres away instead of next to their homes.

He said: "We need to work with residents on telecommunication applications not against them."

Officers said seven objections had been received to the Broadway scheme, claiming the mast would be an eyesore, lower the values of nearby properties and be too close to playing areas and homes.

However, the other scheme had received only one objection, saying that the mast would harm Walmgate Stray, but three letters had been received in support, saying it would be further away from homes.
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