Phone mast fight begins again

By Nic Brunetti
Bucks Free Press

RESIDENTS are calling on council chiefs to reject a new application for a controversial phone mast and end their year-long battle with T-Mobile.

As reported in June, opponents to the mast in Wycombe Road, Marlow, won their fight against the planning decision that allowed the mast to go up just metres from their homes.

They submitted the case for judicial review but settled out of court with Wycombe District Council, who agreed to a consent order that quashed the planning decision.

However, the order meant that the mast would only be taken down if a new application by the mobile phone giants was unsuccessful.

And now T-Mobile has submitted a full planning application with residents promising a full rally of opposition before the final decision is made.

David Reynolds, leader of the residents, said he hoped the council would take a closer look at plans this time around.

This includes legal arguments in the original case, where the council admitted it did not contact Great Marlow School about the mast, despite a Government report saying that radiation beams of the "greatest intensity" strike the ground between 50 and 200 metres.

Great Marlow is only 150 metres from the mast which was put up last year but has yet to be activated.

Mr Reynolds said: "We hope that the council will see sense and refuse the application so the mobile phone mast can be put somewhere more appropriate."

Mr Reynolds said he is still awaiting payment for his legal costs, which the council were ordered to pay as part of the consent order.

The council has since said Great Marlow will be contacted over the new application after a review of notifications policy.

As the new submission is a full planning application, it means there is no time deadline for a decision which was previously the case with a General Permitted Development Order. These give telecom companies the right to have masts approved if a decision is not made within 56 days but this cannot happen this time.

Mr Reynolds said he believed this would allow greater scope for objections and a better chance for councillors to consider residents' views.

A T-mobile spokesman said: "As a result of the consent order issued, T-Mobile has submitted a full planning application to the local planning authority."


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