9
Sep
2005

Councillor on hand to stop phone mast work

By Peter Stebbings
Barnet and Potters Bar Times

A Barnet councillor spent part of her weekend preventing the building of a mobile phone mast for which planning permission had not been granted.

Councillors and residents have long opposed applications by mobile phone operators to plant masts in Saxon Field, a bank of grass between St Mary's Road and Avondale Avenue, in Church Hill Road, East Barnet.

With a council official in tow, Councillor Olwen Evans hot-footed down to the site on Sunday, after a phone call from a resident alerted her to what was going on.

The confusion arose because Saxon Field is close to the road, part of which belongs to Barnet Council and part to the Department of Transport. The latter had granted planning permission, but the former had not.

The council has vowed to oppose all applications for phone masts on its land.

Mrs Evans said: "It is outrageous that contractors working for T-Mobile have tried to erect a mast on council land.

"The company has absolutely no right to put up a transmitter at that site. It would appear they may have tried to force the issue by erecting over the weekend."

A T-Mobile spokesman said: "The use of mobile phones in the UK has grown at a phenomenal rate, with some 60 million now in use.

"All communities have the potential to benefit from first-class mobile communications whether they are used for business, social or emergency purposes."
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