13
Jul
2005

MAST UPROAR

Derbyshire Evening Telegraph

BY DAVID WALSH

09:30 - 13 July 2005

Another two mobile phone masts are planned for Mickleover - including one which would be within a stone's throw of a school.

The area currently has six masts and there were already plans for two more to be built. If the latest plans go ahead, and the other planned masts are built, then the area will have a total of 10 masts.

Vodafone wants to build a 12-metre mast at the junction of Chestnut Avenue and Devonshire Drive - just along the road from Ravensdale Infant and Junior schools.

It has put forward the plans through Pride Park firm Waldon Telecom.

The mobile phone operator is carrying out an informal consultation with Derby City Council's planners.

Planning permission is not required because the mast is no more than 15 metres high, but Vodafone will need to liaise with the council about the precise siting and design of the mast.

In addition, T-Mobile has put forward a planning application to South Derbyshire District Council to build a 25-metre mast on the edge of the city boundary, near to Ladybank Road. If given permission the mast would dwarf the existing structures in the area, which measure from 10 metres to 15 metres tall.

Dave Cooper, head teacher at Ravensdale Junior School , said: "This mast would be 100 metres from the infant school and 150 metres from the junior school.

"We've got 500 children on the site and I feel this mast shouldn't be near a school. The evidence just isn't there that it's completely safe."

Louise Neville, of Partridge Way , Mickleover, has a daughter, Bethany (10), who attends the school. She said: "I'm very concerned about the plans. To have the mast so close to two schools is totally unreasonable."

Vodafone already has two masts in the area - one on the University of Derby campus in Chevin Road and a second in Station Road . There are also Orange and O2 masts on the university campus.

However, spokeswoman Jane Frapwell said another was necessary to improve coverage.

The plans for the T-mobile mast will be considered by South Derbyshire District Council's development control committee next month.

The district council confirmed it had received five letters of objection, while residents said a petition containing over 100 names had also been sent.

Pamela McCahey, of Howden Close, Mickleover, said: "There's a very strong feeling among residents that we're opposed to this mast.

"We feel its range would go across Mickleover Primary School, in Vicarage Road, and a lot of houses in the Ladybank Road area."

Mickleover is a popular area for masts because of its height above sea level - 102.6m at Kipling Drive.

Two more masts are expected to be built in the area in the future. Orange has confirmed that work will commence on a 15-metre mast at The Hollow, Mickleover within the next few months, while O2 has revealed it still plans to build a 12-metre mast close to the existing Orange and Three masts in Uttoxeter Road.
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