16
Jul
2005

Protesters win row over 50ft phone mast

Evening Times, Scotland

PEOPLE power has persuaded a businessman to throw out plans to house a 50ft phone mast near family homes. Mobile phone giants T-Mobile wanted a coach firm in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, to put the huge tower on its land. But neighbours of Southern Coaches in Lochlibo Road said the mast would be a monstrosity and gathered hundreds of signatures opposing the plan. Company director Robert Wallace's firm was expected to earn a four-figure sum each year the mast was sited on his land. But after the huge public campaign he decided to refuse the lucrative deal. Mr Wallace said: "We initially thought we would be providing a service to the community by offering land for a phone mast but once they started objecting, we decided not to go ahead with it. "It was entirely down to the public's campaigning." His decision has delighted members of the Lochlibo Action Group Against Phone Masts. They were furious the company, which has been in Barrhead for generations, was in talks with the telecommunications firm. The group distributed leaflets to around 350 homes and collected more than 250 signatures against the mast plan. Tony Gillespie, a member of the action group, said: "The council was expected to approve this, so the only way to tackle this was to ask the owner to change his mind." The 43-year-old shipyard worker added: "We are delighted he's chosen not to go ahead with it." Councillor Danny Devlin added: "I'd like to thank Mr Wallace for listening to the voice of the community." Meanwhile, campaigners in Dennistoun in Glasgow's east end are threatening legal action after T-Mobile was granted permission to site a base station at WASPS, a charitable trust, at 77 Hanson Street. T-Mobile's agents Stappard House are being criticised by action group Dennistoun Residents Against Masts for failing to consult neighbours of WASPS, the largest visual arts organisation in Scotland, and artists who rent space. The group claims many local people were not informed of the application until after permission was granted.
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