Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Anti-mast protesters celebrate in "David and Goliath" battle with Vodafone

Anti-mast protesters celebrate in "David and Goliath" battle with Vodafone

By AlanThompson  |  Posted: March 24, 2015

Sir Alan with the Vodafone letter
Protesters who waged a battle over six years to stop a phone giant putting up a mast on their estate are celebrating after hearing that the plan has been scrapped.
But Vodafone say their decision to drop plans for a mast on the corner of Grange Drive and Sapcote Drive, in Melton, is only as long as they can build it on an alternative site.
The company's climb-down follows intervention by Rutland and Melton MP Sir Alan Duncan who met the company's head of government affairs last week.
Sir Alan said: "This is the best possible outcome. People were dismayed at the prospect of this mast being put up on Sapcote Drive – that will not now happen.
"I am pleased that Vodafone has re-considered and paid attention to local opinion."
In a letter to Sir Alan following their meeting Paul Morris said: "I am now able to confirm that it is Vodafone's intention not to proceed with the mast proposed for the junction of Grange Drive and Sapcote Drive, as long as we are able to acquire and build an alternative in the area.
"A number of alternative locations have been identified as part of our recent search, and one in particular appears to satisfy all our requirements."
He added: "We intend to contact the local authority to obtain the necessary planning and landlord consents for this new proposed site so we can proceed with this new location.
"We will of course undertake local stakeholder consultation prior to submitting the planning application."
Protesters campaigning against the mast returned to the site last month after six years.
In 2009, protesters camped out in a caravan on the site to stop the mast going up – and appeared to have won their battle.
They returned in a caravan after mobile phone company Vodafone was seen on the site again.
News of the decision to drop the site was greeted with delight.
Louise Brown said: "That's brilliant news, the protest has all been worthwhile. David has beaten Goliath yet again.
"It has felt like a long fight, but well worth it. None of us has regretted a single minute of it and would do it all again if we had to.We'll be keeping an eye on where the new site is planned."
Campaigner Linda Summerland said: "That's brilliant news, I think it's fantastic, the end of a long battle.
"You don't think it gets to you, but it does.I would fight them again and we'll need to make sure they keep to their word."
Helen Francis said: "It's obviously good news for us that they're looking at another site, but I'm still a bit dubious about where that may be."
Vodafone says it needs a mast to improve local mobile internet coverage across the area.

No comments:

Post a Comment