Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Locals Clash with Mobile Phone Giant in Mast Row; Vodafone's Plans Spark Outrage in Newcastle Suburb

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Locals Clash with Mobile Phone Giant in Mast Row; Vodafone's Plans Spark Outrage in Newcastle Suburb

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE PROCTOR

MOBILE phone giant Vodafone's plans for a mast have sparked outrage.

Newcastle City Council passed an application by the company to build a 12.5m tall reception mast on the Great North Road near Brunton Park earlier this month.

But families there say they are 'outraged' the council have given the go-ahead for the mast to be built just metres from their homes and a foster care office visited by children.

John Gray, parish councillor for North Gosforth, said: "We are all dismayed with where they are going to put it.

"The residents are upset. It's a beautiful approach to Newcastle and it's going to be outside peoples houses and we're all going to have to look at it."

This is Vodafone's third attempt at building a mast in the area.

A petition signed by 360 residents thwarted an earlier application for a similar size mast near the entrance of Melton Park and the city council turned it down in June 2011.

A second application to install a mast on the south side of the Great North Road was also withdrawn as residents launched another campaign.

"This is the third time Vodafone have tried to get a mast here and this time it's been passed.

"It's as if they've skirted around every available spot and just kept on trying until something goes through.

"The whole thing is outrageous and we're absolutely against it being built here," said Coun Gray, who lives over the road from the proposed site.

Alongside fellow parish councilor Andrew Cooke, the pair are now fighting the decision, which was passed by an officer granted 'delegated powers' and not before planning members.

Coun Cooke, said: "A lot of people hadn't even been informed that there was an application at all.

"Then a sheet of paper went up at the bus stop.

"The OK was given by a planning officer and not a member and I don't know how can something as important as this just be passed by one person. …

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