Joy as mast plan pulled

Loundsley Green Residents Joy at Mast Rejection.

Loundsley Green Residents Joy at Mast Rejection.

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OBJECTERS have toasted the 11th hour withdrawal of a bid to install a mobile phone mast.

Chesterfield Borough Council was expected to refuse consent for the siting and appearance of the proposed monopole and six antennaes, to be 13.8m tall together – plus equipment cabinets – on a verge on the roundabout on Loundsley Green Road, where it joins Linacre Road.

But the application – objected to by 25 residents who claimed it could cause potential health risks, be an “eyesore” and ruin the area – was withdrawn by Vodafone and O2 hours before planners were due to discuss it on Monday.

Milldale Close protestor Alison Phillips said: “We are absolutely ecstatic, we’re going to have a party to celebrate.

“It really has shown power to the people. Our main concerns were the perceived risks to health and it spoiling the beautiful landscape.”

But residents’ joy could be shortlived as Vodafone and 02 say a revised application for their base station, relocated to the other side of the roundabout, is to be submitted soon.

Campaign leader Joanne Taylor alleged objectors had challenged the applicants’ claims it had consulted the community – threatening to take the matter to the ombudsman under the Companies Act 1985.

She claimed: “They’ve still not done the planning application right because they haven’t consulted people – so we will fight it again.”

Planning reports recommended rejection because the mast’s siting and appearance would have a “significant and adverse” effect on the look and character of an important open area and “would be considered to have an adverse impact on amenity having regard to perceived health risk.”

Vodafone and O2 said written consultation was undertaken with the council, as well as ward councillors, “in line with the best practice consultation guidelines”.

They added that their base station, a low powered device covering half a mile, was needed to improve 3G coverage to customers.

A statement said: “The (council) highways department raised an objection to the location of the proposed station due to concern the safety of speeding vehicles could be affected and the parking of construction and maintenance vehicles could cause an obstruction.

“An alternate location, on the other side of the roundabout where traffic speeds would be less, was suggested. As a result the application was withdrawn and is due to be resubmitted with the new location shortly.”

What do you think about mobile phone mast locations? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.

ellen.beardmore @derbyshiretimes.co.uk.