Delight as mast plan is refused

Residents protest over plans for a phone mast in the middle of Dore village.
Residents protest over plans for a phone mast in the middle of Dore village.
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CAMPAIGNERS in a Sheffield village are celebrating after they halted plans for a towering mobile phone mast to be built in the middle of their conservation area.

The Star revealed earlier this month that Vodafone and O2 were planning to erect 65 new masts across Sheffield to improve coverage for iPhones, BlackBerries and other smart phones.

Residents protest over plans for a phone mast in the middle of Dore village.

Residents protest over plans for a phone mast in the middle of Dore village.

The firms will now have to look elsewhere for at least one of their masts, after Sheffield Council officers threw out an application for a 15-metre tower on Causeway Head Road in Dore.

Residents had waged a fierce campaign against the application. They were worried about possible health effects and the visual impact of putting such a large structure in the middle of the Dore Village Conservation Area.

An objection was lodged by Dore Village Society, a petition was signed by 581 people, and a march was held through the village.

Officers decided the height and scale of the mast would look out of place in such a sensitive location. They thought it would clash with the conservation area and a large mature tree.

Residents  protest over plans for a phone mast in the middle of Dore village

Residents protest over plans for a phone mast in the middle of Dore village

It was also feared there would be an appearance of too much clutter on the street.

They judged the scheme solely on the impact on the environment, unable to refer to health implications because of government guidelines.

Planning officers decided to refuse the scheme under delegated powers without sending it to elected councillors on the council’s planning committee.

Campaigner Karine Zbinden said: “The council has obviously taken into account what residents feel. I hope the operators will realise a mast is not wanted in a built-up area of the village, near schools and people’s homes.”

Other communities are waging campaigns against new mobile phone masts as telecommunications companies seek to improve coverage.

Residents in Millhouses are urging the council to reject plans for 14.8-metre mast at the junction of Button Hill and Millhouses Lane. No decision has been taken yet.