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Residents unhappy to plans to make phone mast bigger
IT already dwarfs their homes.
Now residents in a leafy Southampton community face the prospect of a controversial phone mast being made even higher.
Scores of residents in Bassett have signed letter of objection against plans by Vodafone and O2 to heighten a phone mast in Bassett Green Close to 15 metres, extra phone exchange boxes on the pavement.
A controversial 12.5 metre phone mast has been in place at the site since 2012, when Southampton City Council were not able to prove that they had sent out a letter of refusal to Telefonica UK in time, leaving residents “livid”.
‘Miserly’ Now North East Bassett Residents’ Association chairman Barry Smith has branded the firm “miserly” after they submitted their plans.
He said: “We were annoyed with the first mast, now they have come with another application. If they were to put it just across the road in among the trees, we would have no objection to it. We’re not against it. We just don’t want it where they want it.
“The people who live nearby are elderly people. How would you feel if something 15 metres high was over your garden? The nearest garden is only six feet away. That’s surely an intrusion.”
Already 129 people have signed letters of objection saying that the mast would not be in keeping with the area.
Self-employed company director Matthew Donovan lives three doors down and is concerned for his elderly neighbours.
He said: “It’s the company saying ‘Now we’ve got our foot in the door, we have got a mast up, we’re going to put up a bigger one and more stuff on the street’.
“Once they’re there they’ll use the argument that because one is there already we can’t object to this one.
“It’s low-level properties around here. By adding that extra few metres to the mast you would be able to see it from miles around.
“It’s stressful it’s a lot more worrying for the elderly residents.”
Gary Davey, a self-employed wholesaler, said: “I just don’t think it’s in a particularly good place.
“I thought 12.5 metres was pretty high, 15 metres is higher again. I think it’s pretty unsightly and out of keeping to the adjacent property.”
In 2012 the city council said it posted a first-class letter confirming a planning refusal decision within a 56-day deadline and issued stop and enforcement notices when Telefonica started to put up the mast.
However, a planning inspector said the council had no proof, such as a recorded delivery, that the refusal notice been received by Telefonica within the legal timeline and overturned the decision an appeal, allowing the mast to go up.
Telefonica UK was unavailable for comment.
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