Phone mast put on hold

CAMPAIGNERS fighting proposals for a mobile phone mast in a leafy area of Sheffield are celebrating after communications giant Vodafone withdrew its planning application.

Tuesday, 9th October 2007, 11:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th October 2007, 10:24 am

But their success could be short-lived, as the company hopes to submit revised plans in the coming months.

Residents managed to fight off plans for six antennae on the roof of Henry Hall Outfitters, on the corner of Union Road and Osborne Road, Nether Edge.

Vodafone wanted to hide the antennae in two false chimney stacks at either end of the roof.

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The firm said they were needed because the company has to quit its present site on Sheffield Hallam University's Psalter Lane campus. That building is due to be redeveloped into flats.

But alarmed residents feared the antennae could affect their health, their house prices, and would damage the Nether Edge conservation area. Protesters staged several demonstrations, set up their own website and collected a petition of almost 1,500 signatures, which was submitted to Sheffield Council.

Richard Ward, of Osborne Road, a former chairman of the Nether Edge Neighbourhood Group, said building false chimneys on long established buildings was contrary to everything the conservation area stood for.

He said: "We understand Vodafone very recently withdrew their application. However, they are apparently considering whether a reduced size of 'installation' could form the basis for a revised application.

"There was advice that the scale of the proposed architectural additions was inappropriate to the building and its setting in the conservation area.

"If they submit a revised application, we will continue our campaign. Nonetheless, this is an excellent result for us to have achieved."

A spokesperson for Vodafone told The Star: "We have withdrawn the application after discussions with planning officials.

"We are working up new proposals for a slimmer chimney stack, which would have a less intrusive appearance and be more appropriate to the conservation area. We hope to submit those revised proposals soon."

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