Anger as mast is put up in wrong place

CAMPAIGNERS who lost a long-running battle for a phone mast to be built near their homes have expressed disbelief after it was finally erected - in the wrong place.

CAMPAIGNERS who lost a long-running battle for a phone mast to be built near their homes have expressed disbelief after it was finally erected - in the wrong place.

Residents in Haverhill resigned themselves to the fact a mast would be put up on the town's Hazel Stub roundabout following a planning victory by telecom giant Hutchinson 3G in October.

But last night it emerged the mast had in fact been erected in the middle of a footpath - around six feet away from the agreed site.

Debra Leggoe, who has spent months protesting against the company's plans amid fears the mast would be too close to schools and homes, said it was the last straw for the campaigners.


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She said: “They simply cannot put the mast wherever they feel like it, and this would surely be a perfect opportunity to completely relocate the mast to a location agreeable to all.

“Part of our fight was that the mast was too near a footpath, but now rather than it being at the edge it is slap bang in the middle, and the whole thing is a complete fiasco.

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“The mast is now obstructing the footpath, creating a mud bath in the process, and forcing pedestrians onto the busy road, which is dangerous. If the situation wasn't so annoying, it would almost be laughable.”

Last month residents were given fresh hope when Hutchinson 3G agreed to a site visit to look at an alternative spot for the mast.

But the company decided it was not feasible to deviate from its original location for technical reasons, and went ahead with its plans to build on the Hazel Stub roundabout.

West Suffolk MP Richard Spring, who has backed residents since the start of their campaign, said of the latest development: “This is absolutely ridiculous.”

St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which was alerted to the problem by a resident, said investigations had confirmed the mast was indeed in the wrong place.

Mike Davies, Hutchinson 3G's corporate affairs manager, said it was too early to comment but added the matter was being looked into.

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