8
Sep
2005

Victory rings out for people power

Published: 8th September 2005

CONTROVERSIAL plans to erect a mobile mast on Manchester Old Road have been refused by Middleton’s councillors.

At a meeting of the Middleton Township Planning Sub-Committee planning permission to build a T-Mobile mast on ground in front of the West Croft Industrial Estate were knocked back on the grounds that such an erection could have an adverse effect on the local area.

However, not all members agreed with the decision. Councillor Ian Robertson, representing Middleton North, pointed out that many of those objecting to the mast on health grounds are more than happy to use televisions and mobile phones, both of which emit radiation.

He said: “On the one hand you want the technology, but on the other hand you don't want the mast in your back garden.”

A representative from T-Mobile also told the committee that the proposed mast would fit in with local street furniture, standing in between existing streetlamps of a similar height, and that the company had also rejected other proposed sites as they were closer to residential areas.

It was pointed out that erecting this mast near an existing one that already stands just 30m from the proposed site would not encourage further masts to be built, but instead decrease the likelihood as phone companies could come together and use each other’s technology.

Nevertheless, an entourage of approximately 15 objectors put forward a case that helped to convince the committee that such a mast was not wanted in Rhodes, due to fears that it may affect both the health of locals and house prices.

Objectors also expressed concern Rochdale Council had not adequately consulted locals, although a planning officer stated that the council had actually gone beyond its requirements by sending letters to the most-affected residents.

Speaking against the plans, Councillor Peter Williams said: “The issue should be that the committee believes that the concentration of masts in areas such as this would be detrimental to the street scene and detrimental to the area.

“This site is right adjacent to a local amenity, in Alkrington Woods, and I don't believe that the developer has looked at other sites properly.”


First published by the Middleton Guardian
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