Taverham campaigners win battle against Orange and T-Mobile phone mast plans

Campaigners are celebrating after winning a hard-fought battle against plans to put up a phone mast in their village.

Scores of people living in Taverham had written to Broadland District Council against Orange and T-Mobile's plans to install at 12m high mast and associated equipment on land at the corner of Springfield Road and Fakenham Road.

Despite the mass opposition, planning officers had recommended the plans for approval.

But today (Wednesday), the council's planning committee refused to grant planning permission, saying the towering mast was not suitable for the area.

Alan Mallett, Broadland district councillor who sits on the planning committee, said: 'There's a very substantial level of local objection and as far as I can see there is very limited benefit to the residents who are going to have to put up with this mast.'

The planning committee heard how the planned mast would have served a third of Taverham homes and would have been made to imitate a telegraph pole.

People living nearby, however, argued that the mast would have been out of character as there is no other street furniture in the area.

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It was also argued that the trees near the site were higher than the planned mast, suggesting that it was an unsuitable location.

Nine members of the committee voted against the plans on the grounds that the mast would be detrimental to the amenities of the area.

Anne Nygren, who lives in Springfield Road and lives the closest to the proposed site, said: 'I'm deeply relieved. This has been blighting my life for six months and I feel so strongly about it. It would've only been a few metres from my front garden.'

Philip Westrup, 64, of Fakenham Road, also close to the site of the proposed mast, said: 'We are really pleased that the mast has been refused by Broadland District Council.

'Hopefully there's not an appeal or anything. It certainly was not proven that there was a need for the coverage.'

At the meeting, an agent for the applicant Everything Everywhere, which runs mobile providers Orange and T-Mobile, and the 3 network, had argued that there was no better site for the mast.

Are you fighting a controversial planning application in the area where you live? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326.