50ft phone mast inappropriate say residents

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Stratford District Council

A proposed 50ft telephone mast just yards from a Stratford Primary School has been met with objections from residents.

Plans for the mast, located on a grass verge on Clopton Road close to Thomas Jolyffe Primary School, were submitted last month by mobile network EE, and companies MBNL and H3G (UK) Ltd.

Some residents have complained that the mast could adversely affect property values while some have raised fears that the mast could affect people’s health.

Others have questioned whether it is appropriate to install such a mast in a densely populated area and have suggested another less intrusive location is considered.

The applicants argue that the mast is needed to ensure the wider network is not disrupted by the decommissioning of a nearby telecommunications site and that it will enhance the service currently offered.

15 metres has been calculated as the minimum height to prevent nearby buildings or trees blocking the signal, while a ‘slimline monopole’ design has been selected to blend in as much as possible.

Clopton Road resident Richard Price said: “It does seem like a strange place to install this mast, quite obtrusive right in the middle of a residential area and opposite a school. I’m not necessarily against this on health grounds or anything like that, I just think it’s quite an inappropriate place to put a mast and it will be higher than most of the trees around here.”

Cllr Dominic Skinner, who represents Stratford North, said: “The health and safety argument is irrelevant from a planning point of view, but it is the visual impact that I’m concerned about. This is not nimbyism, I know we are in need of better infrastructure in Stratford, but this structure will be 15 metres high and it’s totally out of keeping with the area. I think the applicants need to carry out more investigation into alternative locations, these things should be installed on top of commercial buildings, not slap bang in the middle of a residential area.”

Cllr Skinner added that allowing a structure of this height to be build would set a dangerous precedent for future development in the area.

A decision on the application is expected to be made next month.