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www.mast-victims.org forum / General discussion / A warning to people and land owners
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Cameron John
# Posted: 7 Sep 2010 01:34

Hi - I have had a television transmitting aerial on my land for around 21 years had previously excellent relationships with both the BBC and Crown Castle. Since this new company Arqiva came onto the scene i have had nothing but bother. Previous attempts by this company acting through planning agents to erect mobile phone aerials on 25m masts had failed in the local village due to the resolve of the local people. They had previously asked me not to allow a tetra upgrade to the mast on my land to which i agreed, Crown Castle were happy and did not change the terms of the ground lease. I was reading the local paper one day and spotted that our ground at been approved for planning consultation by the local council to replace the telegraph pole with a 17m square tower with cabinets, dish's and relocation of the tv aerials. Then a second application was made to add tetra aerials to the same mast and another cabinet, i was not approached about either application. I contacted the council they agreed that there were problems with the applications revoked the approval and asked the agent to provide greater detail.

I went on holiday 3 weeks ago and was phoned up to tell me that contractors acting on behalf of Arqiva had removed gates blocked off the access road, dug a trence removed fencing and constructed 3 concrete bases. Upon my return i replaced the gates and locked them replaced the fencing and filled in the various trenches. They had two pallets of equipment delivered to the site by articulated lorry when i phoned the companies agents no one would take responsibility. Yesterday fencing panels arrived again with no one to take ownership for them.

I awoke at 4:20am because of the dogs to discover a team of people on the road (a public by way through our land) digging a trench and laying cables. BT arrived an hour later and i refused site access to which after many phone calls i finally got to speak to someone who claims the site was approved for the work and they were not aware of any problems with site access.

They have left a trench in the road 3ft wide and several feet deep, left electrical cables bare and exposed to the elements. Damaged property (NOT BT) trespassed on our land and made fools of us. Broke locks off gates and illegally trespassed on land they do not own.

This appears to be their new tactic for getting these damn things built.
The local community and the land owners do deserve better respect as these folks believe they are above the law. This is not the first story i have heard, exactly the same from other land owners.

# Posted: 7 Sep 2010 01:58

How are they getting away with this? If it's illegally done, which obviously seems to be the case, what is the Law doing about it?

Thanks for the warning; I've always assumed (wrongly, it appears!) that landowners have been fully complicit in the installations of these horrendous mast towers on their plots.


Cameron John
# Posted: 7 Sep 2010 09:55 - Edited by: Cameron John

They are getting away with this by two means - They do not need the land owners permission to apply for retrospective planning approval. This is not approval to construct but approval to carry out the necessary environmental impacts studies which they make up. If they have a document with the word APPROVAL stamped on it, they can start to build and argue the case later by then it's built and in service. The council is then powerless because they agreed to it.

I discovered that back in 2001 i renewed a 16 year ground lease to BBC/ Crown Castle for the use of and access to their television transmitter of which i was happy to do. It was annual income for the farm and the television station serves the local communities, there were zero objections at the time. Problem was Arqiva or their agents used that rental agreement i had signed as proof to the council that i agreed to the expansion of the site. In real terms there is nothing in that document to suggest i agree to any future works. In fact it simply says i abide by the conditions of access to the site in the event of a failure of equipment on site.

Do not be fooled that it is always the fault of the landowner, I do not want an eyesore on any part of my land. The telegraph pole the BBC provided for their aerial is sufficient enough. I have heard many stories from distressed land owners, some land owners in difficult times have sold sites to these phone companies with clauses not to allow further development of the site only to find once a hand shake takes place the bulldozer moves in. Legally speaking they cannot be stopped because of these silly outdated planning laws that are useless in this day of age.

These are several clauses included in the official council documents i received is it any wonder these companies get away with it.

Developments requiring prior approval of the Council prior approval notifications are required for some masts, notably those below 15m high, or antennae, certain other equipment and public call boxes. Planning permission is not required, but the applicants are required to notify the Council of their proposals.

The Council can not object to the principle of the development but has 56 days to comment on the siting and design. The applicant has to post a site notice although there is no requirement to do so the Council has adopted the policy of advertising all notifications in the press, putting up our own site notice and notifying adjoining neighbours is not permitted.

Development requiring full planning permission this is for masts over 15m high and other developments that fall outside the permitted development limits. The Council consults local residents and parish councils in the same way as for other developments requiring planning permission. Although there is no requirement to do so the Council has adopted the policy of advertising all notifications in the press, putting up our own site notice is contrary to planning conventions here in.

# Posted: 19 Sep 2010 22:17

it is good to know that landowners, are not necesarrily consenting to these masts going up. Part of the problem I think (someone please correct me if I am wrong, that mobiles, masts wifi technology is relatively new, jand our legal system does not have the required laws yet to protect against these aggressive companies. The laws will only be made and passed, when enough people shout out about it. I found these solicitors on my searching travels who dealwith environmental issues, and can also give advice if people want to start legal action themselves. You probably already have solicitors, but if not might be worth contacting them. Regardless it may be useful for someone else


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