17
Sep
2005

BALOONEY PROTEST OVER MAST PLAN

By Richard Wright
IOW Country Press

17.09.05

THE balloon has gone up over 3G's plans for a mobile phone mast close to a listed building.

City trader Tom Milligan has twice shown Seaview villagers what to expect by tethering a helium balloon floating more than 25 metres up to represent the height of the lattice tower, its transmitters and receiving dish.

The application by the phone giant for the Fairy Hill site, 62 metres from the Grade II listed Fairy Hill House, was submitted a week after it applied for a wooden mast on land at Barnsley Farm on the outskirts of Ryde belonging to former Island high sheriff and brewery boss Anthony Goddard.

The company said it needed permission for both and they are not alternatives.

Mr Milligan, who lives next door to Fairy Hill House, told Monday's meeting of Nettlestone and Seaview Parish Council: "It is no more than 10ft away from my land and will be visible from many, many parts of the village and beyond.

"I first used party balloons to show how big the mast will be and then a bigger balloon on Tuesday last week. "If people want to see just how tall this structure will be, I am planning to repeat the exercise between lunchtime and evening next Tuesday, weather permitting."

The land on which 3G wants to build the mast is owned by Seaview resident Mary Gedling.

Fairy Hill House resident Capt John Hounsfield emphasised how close the mast would be to the listed late-Georgian mansion, built in 1780. He said further health and safety information was emerging about the effects of radiation from phone masts following the neutral stance of the Stewart Report into its effects. "It appears parts of the Stewart Report are being overriden by the Health Protection Agency but that information is so fresh that it needs further study," he said.

Cllr Sarah Doran called for the IW Council to formulate a comprehensive policy. "The Island should have a policy to control mobile phone masts. We are told they only have a range of 2km so very soon, the Island will look like a porcupine on heat," she said.

Parish council planning committee chairman Cllr Peter Tuson said the IW Council had a masts moratorium on its own land but no policy for controlling installations elsewhere. He said the mast planned for Fairy Hill would be an eyesore next to the listed building and that planned for Bullen was close to Bullen Mead Nursery, where in 2001 a mast was refused because of the unacceptable impact it would have on the countryside.

The parish council objected to both masts because of the significant impact they would have on their areas.

16 September 2005
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