Fury as mast work starts

By Tom Warren Shropshire Star 08.09 .05

Angry Shropshire villagers today claimed contractors from mobile phone giant Orange had started work on a 50-foot mast near their homes without giving them any notice.

Residents of West Felton, near Oswestry, are now organising an urgent public meeting. They say they are concerned that the massive antenna will be a blot on the landscape and could pose a health risk.

The villagers say they knew nothing of the development until earlier this week when contractors moved on to the site.

But Oswestry Borough Council says Orange has done nothing wrong and went through all the proper legal channels in 2002 to get permission for the 15-metre 3G mast.

West Felton resident Pat Mabe said the parish council objected to the antenna three years ago, when the application was submitted, and they believed the plan had been shelved.

But this week villagers came across workmen on the field where the mast will go.

The parish council tried to stop contractors getting to the site by banning them using a dirt track owned by the village to access the field.

But the workmen were carrying on, she said.

Planning officer Tim Rogers said Orange had no obligation to tell people that work was starting on the mast because the application was dealt with three years ago.

New rules now mean that councils have to inform people near mast sites when they are about to be put up, he said.

No-one from Orange was available for comment today.


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September 2005

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