21
Sep
2005

Residents’ rage over mobile phone mast

Border Counties Advertiser
21.09.05

HUNDREDS of West Felton residents have pledged to defend their homes from intrusion from a 50ft radio mast being built in a local field.

A second full-house was anticipated for a public meeting organised on Monday in the parish hall with many residents planning to take legal action to head off the mast on farmland near The Avenue.

Angry residents say the first they knew of the mast was when groundwork began in the field two weeks ago.

Parish councillor Pat Mabe said that there was a lot of ill feeling towards the mast with many residents fearing for the health of children at the nearby school and the value of their properties.

“We are going to try and get the Borough Council to do something about it because this is too close to people’s homes. There’s a lot of feeling in the village. The villagers are all together about it. We feel betrayed by people who should be taking care of us,” she added.

According to reports, Orange first contacted the Borough Council in 2002 about putting a mast in West Felton.

The Borough consulted West Felton Parish Council which said it was too close to people’s homes. The phone company maintain the information was never received.

Planning officers from the borough, and phone company Orange were invited to last Monday’s meeting.

Many residents are concerned about the prospects of selling their homes and cannot understand how newcomers have bought their homes in the last six months without the proposed mast showing up on searches. Some are understood to be so incensed they are considering picketing the site and also claiming a reduction in their council taxes.

Mr Tim Rogers, planning officer with Oswestry Borough Council said that when the mast was first consulted upon in 2002 it did not need planning permission as it was less than 15 metres high.

There was a dispute between the Borough Council and Orange over an e-mail which reported the concerns of West Felton Parish Council which the company say was out of time.

However Mr Rogers said the mast could not have been stopped at that time and the disputed e-mail would only have been about the location and possible screening of the site.

Orange, which could not be contacted by The Advertizer, is reported to have refused to attend a public meeting.
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