4
Aug
2005

Delight as mast plan is refused

Aug 4 2005

By Sarah Gaffney, Ormskirk Advertiser

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build an O2 phone mast in Burscough, has been refused planning permission by district councillors.

Despite a favourable recommendation, they decided not to approve the 17.5 metre tower at a planning committee meeting.

Arguments made against the mast in Platts Lane were that it would be an eyesore, would ruin a conservation area and, above all, would have health implications for nearby families.

However, as the government has not set any clear guidelines about mobile masts and possible health risks, the application could not be refused on health grounds.

Jason Isherwood, from The Poplars, made a speech appealing for the mast to be rejected because he said it would be too close to a school.

"I ask you to search your hearts and minds. It's about people and I choose people over a mast. As our representatives I hope you do the same."

John Hodgson, of Platts Lane, speaking on behalf of his neighbours, said the mast would spoil the visual amenity.

He said that when the leaves fell off the trees or if the trees were thinned out, the mast would be exposed.

Most of the committee agreed. Cllr Terry Rice said: "The thing is 60-feet high, if you think you won't notice it you are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

"The government rule is we should not take into account any health worries.

"But if this thing is hazardous to health, it is more hazardous to children than adults and there are children in the vicinity."

Burscough Parish Council chairman, Cllr Cynthia Dereli, was pleased that planning permission was rejected. Because she lives just inside the mast consultation area, Cllr Dereli was forced to declare her interest, although her exclusion was considered "laughable" by Cllr Alan Bullen.

She said: "I am really pleased that the position that residents took was listened to. They were really good and understood their subject well."
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