People power wins as plans for Wecock phone mast are rejected

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MOBILE phone giant EE has been refused permission to put up a mobile phone mast in the middle of a housing estate.

The huge 50ft mast was planned for a small green at the corner of Curlew Gardens and Eagle Avenue, in Wecock.

The application was made to move it from its current location in nearby Woodcroft Farm which has been earmarked for housing.

But when residents heard about the potential move they stepped in to try 
and stop it – and planning officers at Havant agreed that it was the wrong location.

Jean Reeder, 62, of Curlew Gardens, was angry that the telecommunications firm had chosen that site because it would have been in the eyeline of a number of houses.

It’s also a spot where children like to play.

She: ‘It’s brilliant news.

‘I’ve had a letter letting me know.

‘I just really hope they don’t appeal against it and get it through that way. That’s my fear.

‘I’m very pleased the council took a stand over this.

‘It’s what we wanted.

‘As far as I’m concerned they can put it anywhere they want apart from putting it there.’

Under the planning department’s delegated powers officers turned down the mast, which would have been disguised as a lamppost, because of its height and lack of screening.

Case officer Richard Nash said in his ruling the mast ‘would represent an incongruous feature in this locality and would thus have a detrimental impact on the amenities of the area.’

Nearby Woodcroft Farm, where the mast currently stands, has been earmarked for several hundred new homes although no formal application has been put in yet.

EE said the spot on the green was the best place to provide coverage for the area once they had to move the mast.

Hart Plain councillor Mike Cheshire was also opposed the plans.

He said: ‘Had it gone to the development management committee I would have fought against it so I’m very pleased at this outcome.’

EE was unavailable for comment but said previously the site was the best place for the mast once any new development was started.