Villagers protest at phone mast plan

By Annie DavidsonPROTESTERS opposed to a plan to install a mobile phone mast in a picturesque village are to hold a public meeting.Telecommunications company Orange has been given planning permission to put up a 20-metre-high phone mast in Great Bentley.

By Annie Davidson

PROTESTERS opposed to a plan to install a mobile phone mast in a picturesque village are to hold a public meeting.

Telecommunications company Orange has been given planning permission to put up a 20-metre-high phone mast in Great Bentley.

The mast is due to be put in place at Tendring Hundred Water's former pumping station site between Heckfords Road and Weeley Road during the next few weeks.


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Residents have objected to the proposal and a farmer has offered a piece of land rent-free for five years to Orange so the mast could be sited further away from the village.

But Inigo Wilson, a spokesman for Orange, said last night the offer would not be taken up.

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He added a legal agreement had already been signed for the current site and there was a financial penalty for breaking it.

“We have got full planning permission after going through the entire process,” pointed out Mr Wilson.

Great Bentley Parish Council did not object to the application and final permission was granted by Tendring District Council.

But villager Cyril Pettican said: “We, as villagers, feel we have been railroaded into this and there has been a lack of consultation.

“It appears both the district council and the parish council had no idea what they were doing when they said yes to it.”

He added a 360-signature petition against the mast had been presented before a final decision had been made.

Mr Pettican said: “Why spoil such a beautiful green with an ugly monstrosity? As the jury is still out on the safety of the radiowaves given out by these masts, the further away it is from the residents of the village where it will still operate successfully, the better.”

Parish and district councillor Robert Taylor said after the planning application had been mentioned in the parish magazine, he had not been contacted by anyone about it. “There was no reaction at all to it,” he added.

n The public meeting will be held at Great Bentley Village Hall on June 17 at 7.30pm.

annie.davidson@eadt.co.uk

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