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Stafford planners reject mobile phone mast plans

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: April 03, 2014

Stafford planners reject mobile phone mast plans

CONNECTIVITY...Councillor Robert Stephens said masts were needed

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PLANNERS have rejected plans for one mobile phone mast and deferred a decision on another near the former police headquarters in Baswich.

Vodafone UK lodged applications for 57-feet-high masts in Walton on the Hill and Weeping Cross.

The company said they were needed because the lattice mast at the former police site would be decommissioned later this year and mobile phones would not work.

The first application, at the junction of Weeping Cross and The Rise was rejected after a meeting of Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee heard ward councillors were split over the issue.

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Ward Councillor Robert Stephens said: “Phone coverage is part of the future connectivity of the area.”

His ward colleague Councillor Frank Finlay said: “We now have to have two masts at least, covering a similar area. Two communities are disrupted and affected by it.”

One objector said he had health concerns and the plans “plumbed new depths of corporate irresponsibility and insensitivity.”

The company said the mast would provide ultra-fast 3G coverage.

Councillor Mike Heenan, whose ward bounds the site, said: “The Weeping Cross ward has been overrun by masts. We have quite a lareg number of applications. The police headquarters site which has caused this should bear its share of the connectivity that’s required. This site is close to a school and we did used to have a policy of not putting these things close to schools.”

Councillor Ann Edgeller said: “Stafford is going to become the phone mast capital of the UK. We all want mobile phones but we have also got to consider the health grounds.

“The 1,400 pupils at the (nearby) school have got their lives in front of them and there’s no way I would put their lives at risk.”

A decision on the other application, in Cannock Road, was deferred to get more information about the power supply for the mast after planning officers were shown a diagram showing the electricity supply going through a tree root protection area.”

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