31
Aug
2005

PHONE GIANT APPEALS AGAINST MAST REFUSAL

Lincolnshire Echo

10:30 - 31 August 2005

Plans to erect a mobile phone mast near three schools have surfaced for the third time, leaving people living nearby seething.

Mobile phone operator O2 has been refused planning permission to site the 12.5 metre high pole off Nash Lane, in North Hykeham, twice in the past two years.

The company has now lodged an appeal against the refusal, saying it needs the mast so its customers get a good signal in the area.

But those living nearby say nothing has changed and they will still fight the plans for their own safety and that of children studying at nearby All Saints' Primary School, Robert Pattinson School and North Kesteven School.

Retired Mike Baldwin (61), of Moor Lane, said he was angry to see the plans back again.

"O2 has said that there is no proof that being near to a mobile phone mast can damage your health, but the way I look at it there is also no proof that it is 100 per cent safe," he said.

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"I'm also concerned about the visual impact of such a high mast. It would be higher than a telegraph pole and hard to hide. You'd be able to see it from my garden."

North Hykeham town councillor Jackie McAll said she was disappointed to see the plans surfacing again.

"I have always had concerns about this plan and don't think that Nash Lane, in the middle of a residential area, is the best place for a mobile phone mast," she said.

"We suggested they consider putting the mast in the cemetery at South Hykeham, where it is less residential, but they seemed to have passed that idea off without giving any real reason."

The second planning application for the erection of the mast was refused on February 5 because North Kesteven District Council felt it would be too close to houses.

But O2 has now put together and submitted a full planning appeal against the refusal.

"Every attempt has been made to minimise the visual impact of the scheme toward nearby properties by careful siting," the appeal states.

"The proposed design represents the best compromise between the visual impact of the proposal on the amenity of the area and meeting the technical coverage requirement for the appellants."

Angela Johnson, from O2, said the appeal was standard practice.

"As a rule if we do not get planning permission for a site that's urgently needed, like this one, we will put in an appeal as we have done now," she said.

For more stories on plans for Lincolnshire log on to //www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/environment
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