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Town centre mast plan should be refused

(December 09, 2011)
A CLEAR signal is being sent to council planners and a mobile phone giant that they should tune into the wishes by getting together to listen to local people and do what the government have asked of them.
"The mast being asked for in Fairfield Road is clearly unjustified and goes against my view of government planning advice, " says Paul Macdonald.
"In what circumstances could a householder say that their home in one corner of a large plot of land is now too small but over there I am entitled to bung up something many more times more intrusive and detrimental to their neighbours."
The former WWDC planning committee member has today lodged his objection with Wiltshire Council.
He has written (e-mail) to Wiltshire Council arguing  'I believe that this should be treated as a totally new concept and as such a very rigorous examination should take place of this application.
'It is has always been my understanding that the first obligation of the council and mobile phone operators is that they work together considering mast sharing, the use of existing structures (including electricity pylons), a proper assessment of visual impact, and the use of screening.
'I believe that operators are urged across the country by local authorities to avoid 'sensitive' areas.'
Paul joins residents, and a local businessman who sees his proposed brown belt housing development yards away, another former councillor and local residents in objecting.
Paul adds to his experienced take on the situation' PPG8 states that the 'Government attaches great importance to keeping to a minimum the level of environmental impact caused by network development.'
"At this point I think to myself that a 45 feet high mast can do nothing other than and I have pointed out how much work has been put into ensuring the other change in Fairfield is attractive and workable," adds Paul.
Paul's missive to the planning officer goes on 'It is no wonder that Waitrose having provided a nice street scene to their development are refusing to have anything to do with this unattractive mast.
'The close proximity to a 'sensitive' neighbourhood is undoubted.
'I therefore ask you to recommend that this be refused for a reason that I remember from my days as a district councillor. The effect on the neighbouring buildings and surrounding area by virtue of its scale and character.'
'I also believe that the applicant has to prove that there is a need for the change in terms of the service it provides. I believe that there is a lack of sufficient evidence that the extra capacity is needed at this location.
'As there are alternatives that should be explored I urge you to do so.'
"I feel that this is a test case for our town," adds Paul. "The government presumption in favour of modern technology has achieved its aim and commonsense once again has to return."

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