Phone mast plan is cut off

PUBLISHED: 14:24 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 10:45 06 May 2010

Alan Cox, with wife Mary and children David and Marie, points out the proposed site of the telephone mast

Alan Cox, with wife Mary and children David and Marie, points out the proposed site of the telephone mast

PEOPLE power won the day when councillors rejected an unpopular application for a phone mast. Residents of Hitchin Road, Letchworth GC, and the surrounding area had written to North Herts District Council to object to T-Mobile s proposals for a 10m high m

PEOPLE power won the day when councillors rejected an unpopular application for a phone mast.

Residents of Hitchin Road, Letchworth GC, and the surrounding area had written to North Herts District Council to object to T-Mobile's proposals for a 10m high mast and three equipment cabinets.

Their objections included concerns about health risks and the visual impact of the installation.

And last week councillors on the Letchworth committee of NHDC backed them up by refusing planning permission on the grounds of the visual intrusion and insufficient evidence that T-Mobile had investigated other alternatives.

Councils are currently not permitted to refuse masts on health grounds.

Leading the campaign against the mast was Alan Cox, of Hitchin Road, a chartered engineer who addressed the committee on alternatives available to mobile phone operators.

He believes it would be possible for T-Mobile to provide coverage using larger, more powerful masts.

This option would mean that fewer masts were needed across the town.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Cox said: "I found out that there are three main operators already providing full 3G coverage of Letchworth using just one or two taller type masts each.

"I realised that the mobile operators clearly do have this option.

"There's going to be a big problem because they are wanting to put these masts all over Letchworth.

"We'd like to thank everybody that supported us and also we'd like to thank the councillors for their careful consideration and their decision.

"It's an important thing, it should be up to the people of Letchworth as to what they would prefer."

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Linda Needham, who had called the application in for the committee's consideration, said: "All the private landlords are able to say no and that leaves the poor residents with nobody to defend them but the people that sit around this table.

"Somebody has to speak up for the local residents.


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