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|United Kingdom||Created: 10 Jul 2005|
New mast battle brews
A SECOND phone company has applied to put up a 15-metre high mast near an historic Kibworth landmark.
Villagers campaigned in March against an application from Orange for an 18-metre mast 250 metres away from 17th century Grade II listed
Kibworth Windmill at Windmill Field, Langton Road, Kibworth Harcourt.
Now, Hutchison 3G has submitted an application to Harborough District Council for a 15-metre mast 90 metres away from the village landmark.
Protester Beverley Burdett, of Marsh Drive, Kibworth, said: "We will definitely round up the troops for another protest. We will not let them try and get
permission without a fight.
"If they can put a man on the moon why can't they find a better place to put these phone masts?"
The wooden tower proposed has three antennae and three transmission dishes connected to it.
Hutchison 3G says the mast is needed to provide mobile phone coverage for its customers.
It is believed the windmill was built in the early 1600s although its main post has a carving dated 1711.
In the application Hutchison 3G said: "We have carefully designed a solution to blend in with the farm setting and maximise the use of natural screening."
It says the mast will not affect the view of the windmill as it will be screened by conifer trees.
The Orange application was thrown out by councillors in May because they felt the siting and appearance would adversely affect the character and
appearance of the rural landscape.
Harborough Today (Leic)24 August 2005
Leicester PHONE MASTS: 'NO POINT PROTESTING'
Campaigners were warned today they have little chance of stopping phone masts being built on their doorsteps.
City leaders and phone companies say mobile phone antennae will continue to go up across Leicester.
Once a planning application has been submitted, residents are virtually powerless to do anything about it.
The news will come as a blow to the hundreds of people who petition the council asking them to reject planning permission for phone masts near
Roman Scuplak, deputy leader of Leicester City Council, said: "Our hands are tied.
"If the council had the choice, we would not allow companies to put up these masts, because it's clearly something that people are not happy with.
"Even if we turn down the company, they will appeal to the Government."
He said phone companies would almost always succeed in an appeal because the Government does not accept objections to planning applications
based on health risks from radiation.
Mr Scuplak said: "It's extremely difficult for us to do anything.
"If we fight every case against phone companies, it costs council tax payers considerable sums of money in legal costs."
John Mugglestone, the council cabinet leader for regeneration and culture, said: "The chances are you can't stop phone companies.
"The only thing you can do is try delaying tactics. The public's feelings are not being taken into consideration by the Government."
Masts under 15m in height do not require full planning permission and can be erected without residents being informed.
Last year, the Leicester Mercury revealed the locations of 50 masts across the city which had been put up without people needing to know.
However, masts over 15m in height do need planning permission and critics say they are being installed without consideration for the public's concerns.
Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East, said: "All the cards are in the hands of phone companies, who use their power to put pressure on local authorities.
"It's important that the Government looks at our planning laws. We urgently need new legislation so that people have their voices heard."
The comments come after mobile phone company 3 installed a 33ft mast in Nether Hall Road early on Saturday morning, despite furious protests from residents.
Barbara Potter, chairwoman of Netherhall Tenants' and Residents' Association, led the campaign against the mast and had previously managed to stop it being
put up by tying herself to the work site.
She said: "The local authority should stand up to them.
"If it continues, phone masts are going to overrun the city."
Mike Dobson, community affairs manager for phone company 3, said: "We are confident that people's views are being taken into account.
With 60 million phone subscribers in the UK, it's clear that people throughout the country are demanding this service.
"The more people use mobiles, the more masts are necessary."
Leicester Mercury. BY GARY MITCHELL. 22 August 2005
Leicester: BARBARA'S BOUND PROTEST HALTS PHONE MAST WORK
A one-woman campaign forced a mobile phone company to stop work to put up a 33ft mast on her estate.
Mother-of-two Barbara Potter tied herself to the base station of the mast in Nether Hall Road, Leicester, minutes before workmen arrived
with the mast on the back of a truck.
Her David and Goliath battle with the phone giant 3 stopped the firm in its tracks - and won a temporary reprieve.
Ms Potter, 39, chairwoman of Netherhall Tenants and Residents' Association, said: "I'll be here every time they bring this mast here to stop it going up,
and if I break the law and they take me away, I'll get someone else to stand here against it."
More than 25 residents cheered and clapped as she tied herself with telephone cord yesterday and refused to move until the mast was taken away.
Police inspector Chris Barratt spoke to workmen and they agreed to a temporary halt. However, a 3 spokesman said they will return to put it up
"within a few weeks".
Ms Potter, who is a grandmother of two, said residents had been fighting the plan for more than three years.
She said: "We're tired of having our views trampled over. We tried to make ourselves heard to the city council, but they wouldn't listen.
This is the only way that we can be heard.
"We gave in a petition of 78 signatures to our councillors, but they did not take it into the full cabinet meeting where they approved planning permission."
City councillors today said there was little that they could do to stop phone masts going up. Ward councillor John Mugglestone said he opposed the
mobile phone mast from the original application in October last year.
He said: "We opposed it the mast as far as possible. Councillors are frustrated by legislation that always favours the phone companies.
"They can put up masts wherever they want, there is nothing we can do to stop them.
"If we had taken it any further, it would have gone to appeal and we would have lost, and it would have cost the city a lot of money."
Coun Mugglestone said councillors had not received any petitions from residents.
Mike Dobson, a spokesman for 3, said: "Ultimately, the mast will go up.
We have planning permission for that site.
If there are continual protests stopping lawful work we will get the police involved.
"We will try to speak to Ms Potter and discover her concerns, but we will be coming back to complete the job within the next few weeks."
Many residents in Netherhall praised Ms Potter's actions.
Former Oadby and Wigston borough councillor David Allen, 66, who lives on Nether Hall Road, said: "We have had petitions signed by
everyone around here saying we don't want it."
Evelyn Webster, 63, said: "Barbara Potter knows what she's doing. We feel that enough is enough."
BY TOM BENNETT AND JAMIE HORTON. 10:30 - 12 August 2005
TOWER BLOCK MAST PLAN TURNED DOWN
Plans to put six more mobile phone masts on a tower block have been rejected after a councillor described the building as like "an anchored satellite".
Elizabeth House already has 16 masts on its roof and residents say that is too many.
The city's planning committee has now rejected a new application by phone company O2, fearing the antennae may pose a risk.
Residents welcomed the news today - but appealed for the block's existing masts to be removed.
Over the past 10 years, 14 antennae, two dish antennae and four equipment cabinets have been installed on the roof of the tower block, in Waterloo Way,
near Leicester train station.
One resident, Phil Hendy, claims he is suffering ill health from the existing mobile phone aerials.
Mr Hendy, 61, has lived on the top floor of Elizabeth House since 1979, but says his health deteriorated after masts were installed in 1999.
He said: "I suffer from dizziness, headaches, loss of balance, loss of power in my limbs and arthritis.
"The symptoms ease when I leave the building. I live right under the main equipment cabinet and there are also electrical cables on the roof.
"Residents are pleased with the decision but really they should be trying to remove what's already there."
Councillor Patrick Kitterick, who represents the city centre, said: "There is nowhere else in Leicester where you have this concentration of
antennae in one location and it is growing and growing.
"You would not put these antenna near a row of terraces - it's only flat-dwellers who seem to have to put up with this."
Planning committee member Coun John Thomas said: "This is not so much a block of flats as an anchored telecommunications satellite.
"The people living at the top of the flats must be right in the firing line. We have reached saturation point."
Planning officers - who had advised councillors to approve O2's application - said that radiation readings taken last week by phone regulator
Ofcom showed that levels of exposure in and around Elizabeth House were "well within the maximum levels allowed".
The highest dose, at the junction of Campbell Street and Fox Street, is one-thousandth of the national safety figure.
They said councillors could choose to refuse permission if they believed it had not been proved that there was no health risk from an
increased number of aerials.
Councillors voted unanimously to refuse the application, on the grounds of the number of existing antennae and possible health risks.
O2 spokeswoman Angela Johnson said: "It is too early to say whether we will appeal but we are very disappointed that we haven't got this site.
"The cumulative effect of the radiation is thousands of times lower than international safety guidelines and is less than a mobile itself."
Leicester Mercury. BY MEL ATKINSON. 10:30 - 04 August 2005
The residents of Elizabeth House, Leicester, would like to thank all those who sent letters of objection on their behalf.
They are very grateful for your support and want you to know that the planning application was refused by every councillor on the committee,
to include the committee chairman!
And that is not all! Leicester Council has woken up and it is now going to test other mast sites.
This is a great day!
I also thank you for helping these people because the odds were stacked against them.
Even at the eleventh hour the recommendation was to approve the application.
We have less chance of failing if we all back each other, so I really appreciate your support.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005 7:34 PM
Help needed for Leicester tower block
I am really concerned about Elizabeth House, Leicester, and the people who are living there, one of whom called the advice line. It is 25 floors high with multi masts on the roof (one with 12 antennae) and two TETRA masts nearby. There is a new application in for an 02 6 antenna 3G. When Phil Hendy rang me
he was almost out of time to put in objection letters and he has no phone or computer. I wrote an objection letter and posted it to him so he could get support
for it from other residents.
He suffers from the sleep disruption and many other things, but fights on. He collected 100 signatures from the 150 residents for the planning objection letter, but
I have learnt that the objection letter I wrote is not enough. I have gone to David and Chris Maile to find some way to make new representation, but Phil is too ill now to collect more signatures. I have written to ask if this last objection point can be included with the 100 signatures, but do not know if it will be allowed.
So I thought if I could get others to send it in on their behalf we might swing it.
I would be grateful if some of you could send in something based on, or the exact copy of what I have posted below and send it to email@example.com.
Here is the planning wording.
Ref: Planning Application No. 20051122 02 (UK) Ltd 6 antennae pole and cabinets on the roof of Elizabeth House, London Road, Leicester LE2 0QP
I would like this application refused on the grounds of intensity of use in a residential area; the adverse effect to the amenity of the locality; and
possibly on the grounds of conflict of policy.
Elizabeth House lies alongside Victoria Park, which is a protected conservation area.
Two of the existing masts are already visible to passers-by, residents of the block, and from Victoria Park.
They are described by some people as an eyesore.
To add more masts would create further clutter and ugliness to the visual aspect of this predominant block of flats, and therefore to
the neighbourhood, part of which is a conservation area.
Even if the proposed 02 masts are mounted at the rear of the building, some of them will still be very visible from Victoria Park,
breaking the natural eye-line of Elizabeth House, the sky line, and the panoramic view.
Any extension or increase in the clutter on the roof will have a dramatic effect upon the skyline, and both the medium and long term
view of the building takes away from the amenity of, and the general well-being of, residents in the area and visitors to Victoria Park.
Whilst a single, or even two installations might be acceptable to any given location, the increase to a third or fourth, or more, can
effectively be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
PPG8 para 14 makes it clear that visual intrusion is an important question in the siting of masts, and para 20 states "Authorities will need
to consider the cumulative impact upon the environment of additional antennas sharing a mast or masts sharing a site"
A clear policy of a need, whilst on the one hand to reduce the number of sites, but on the other that it is not a question of forever piling on the
installation after installation, but that some cumulative effect will be a legitimate ground for a refusal of an application.
The general thrust of PPG8 is that of finding the best environmental solution on a case by case basis, therefore in this particular case there is
strong evidence to suggest that further installations would be inappropriate due to the considerable negative impact on the amenity of the area and
in the general well-being of residents in the area and visitors to Victoria Park. It is abundantly clear that the existence of any additional masts on this building will cause considerable long term stress and anxiety amongst the residents and in so doing will have a significant and unacceptable effect on the amenity.
Leicester campaigners angry about another mast
CAMPAIGNERS FIGHT MOBILE MAST PLANS
Campaigners are fighting plans to build a second mobile phone mast in a street.
Phone company T-Mobile wants to put a 38ft mast in Goodwood Road, Evington
There is already a similarly sized phone mast, put up by the 3G company, in front of St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church.
The latest application would see a mast placed on a grass verge about 150ft away, outside the church house.
Angry residents say the second mast would be an eyesore and that they won't let it go ahead.
Brian Stephens, 64, who lives in Greystone Avenue, which backs on to the street, is among the people fighting the mast application.
He said: "We will not put up with this and it will happen over my dead body.
"Another mast would be even more of an eyesore than we have to put up with at the moment and we won't let this one lie.
"People are outraged about this and although we hope it won't get permission, if it does, we will probably pull it down."
Parish priest Father John Lally and people who attend St Joseph's have criticised the plans from the company, which will go before Leicester City Council's planning committee on July 19.
Father John said: "A lot of church-goers live locally and their main concern would be for the residents.
"The policy of the Catholic church in the Midlands is that because the safety of the masts isn't proved, we won't have anything to do with supporting them."
Kevan Hollidge, 56, who attends church services at St Joseph's, said: "It's a nice church and there shouldn't be masts put up outside it.
"I understand there is a need for masts, but it should be put somewhere away from residential areas."
Mick Jagger, 62, who lives near the planned mast, said: "Masts like this are an eyesore and they devalue property. It's also the thin end of the wedge and we could end up with a lot more masts."
Evington ward councillor Tony O'Brien said: "I would object to this because of the potential health hazards and also because the masts shouldn't be sited in residential areas."
A T-Mobile spokeswoman said: "All communities have the potential to benefit from first-class mobile communications, whether they are used for business,
social or emergency purposes.
"When a new mast is needed, we try to reduce the impact on the local environment with sensitive siting, innovative design and, where appropriate,
A spokeswoman from 3G said: "We are committed to the highest scientific and safety standards in all our operations.
"All our equipment is safe by design and is in full compliance with the international public emission guidelines."
BY ANDREW WHITAKER Leicester Mercury. 10:30 - 05 July 2005
Protests mount over masts bid
ANGRY villagers are organising a petition to stop phone masts being put up near their village.
Medbourne Against Masts (MAM) has been formed to fight applications for masts in Drayton Road and Manor Road on the outskirts of the village.
The group, which has already collected a 165 names on their petition, claims
the proposals would expose residents to harmful radiation and adversely affect the countryside around Medbourne.
Spokesman Nickie Philbin, who lives in Drayton Road, said: "We in the village are totally opposed to these masts.
"Five years ago people were only concerned that their views would be spoiled
but now they are more worried about the effect on their health.
"We would have thought it would be easier to put the masts further into the countryside where there are no homes or people."
MAM organised a meeting with Melton and Rutland MP Alan Duncan, where he pledged to take the campaigners' fight to the relevant authorities.
Mobile phone company Orange has applied to build a 50ft mast at the Drayton Road site, while the Manor Road site would be occupied by a 65ft TETRA, or terrestrial trunked radio, mast which would contain radio equipment for use by Leicestershire Police.
MAM member Paula Parish (42), from Drayton Road, has just recovered from chemotherapy after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
She said: "I contracted the illness about 20 years younger than someone could normally expect to be diagnosed, so I think I am in a high-risk group.
I also have two young children and I am worried about what the effects could be on them."
Earlier this year, proposals for two masts near Newton Harcourt were thrown out by Harborough District Council.
Harborough Today. 26 May 2005
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