4
Aug
2005

Village victory in mast battle

LEWIS HANNAM
Norwich Evening News 24
04 August 2005 12:38

Proposals to build a 20m mast in Horsford have been thrown out by the Government's independent Planning Inspectorate.

The decision to reject the appeal by telecommunications giant Hutchison 3G UK is the final nail in the coffin for the planned mast in Pyehurn Lane.

Josie Sutton, who has lived in nearby St Helena Way since 1977, said: "This community fought hard against this siting of this mast. We live in a lovely environment and a mast would have ruined it."

She praised the landowner for withdrawing permission for the mast to be built on the land and urged mobile phone companies to talk more with communities in their search for potential sites.

The plans were rejected by Broadland District Council in January because families were worried by the visual impact.

But Hutchison 3G UK appealed, although the landowner no longer wanted the mast.

Mike Davies, a spokesman for Hutchison 3G UK, said: "We still sought permission for the plans because if we had won the appeal, it would have left the option of negotiating with the landowner available. But this decision means that can't happen and we still require more coverage; we will be examining our options in the area.

"With our licence we have to achieve certain coverage levels as far as the Norwich area is concerned."

The inspectorate rejected the appeal on the basis of its negative visual impact and the availability of alternative sites.

Mother-of-two Sally Burton, 38, of Holt Road, said: "It is a great relief. It gives hope to other people fighting these sorts of plans. Our campaign has really helped bring the community together."

John Starling, chairman of Horsford Parish Council, said: "It goes to show that if people get behind a campaign against a mast, then they can win."

The Evening News is campaigning for no more phone masts to be sited near homes or schools until further information about possible health risks is available.

Are you fighting plans to site a phone mast in your neighbourhood? Call Alasdair McGregor on (01603) 772443 or e-mail al.mcgregor@archant.co.uk
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