15
Jul
2005

Residents furious over phone mast

The Northern Echo 14.07.05

PEOPLE living in Cockerton Green, Darlington, were furious after plans to erect a mobile phone in the area were approved yesterday.

The proposal, by mobile phone company Vodafone, to erect a 14-metre high mast was approved by Darlington Borough Council's planning committee.

Resident Nancy Binks said she was speaking on behalf of many of her neighbours who objected to the plans due to health and safety issues, the negative impact it would have on the landscape and fears it would attract vandals.

She asked the committee: "Are there other sites available? Why not build it on the car park behind the shops? Other residents have asked why can't it be built near to where there is an existing mobile phone mast within the grounds of Cockerton Club?" After the committee announced its decision, Ms Binks said she was not surprised but said many residents would be furious.

Resident John Atkinson said: "We realise companies like this must come up against objections all the time and all of their applications cannot be refused because they have to make money.

"I just think a better location could have been found."

Councillor John Williams said: "As a council, we have Government targets to meet, and although I sympathise with the residents, our hands are tied.

"If we refuse the application we will almost certainly lose the appeal, which would follow and that would be at the expense of the taxpayers in Darlington. We simply cannot justify that."

The mast will be erected in the public highway, in front of the shops.
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