Phone mast appeal rejected by Orange likely to appeal
Tan Parsons RESIDENTS in Hampstead have won a landmark victory after planning bosses refused permission for Orange to build a mobile phone mast near 10 schools. The company had planned to set up the seven-metre pole in Fitzjohn s Avenue, but Camden Counci
RESIDENTS in Hampstead have won a landmark victory after planning bosses refused permission for Orange to build a mobile phone mast near 10 schools.
The company had planned to set up the seven-metre pole in Fitzjohn's Avenue, but Camden Council was swamped by more than 800 objections and on Tuesday permission to build the mast was finally refused.
Parents, teachers and residents had objected over safety fears, claiming there is still no definitive proof that radio waves from mobile phone masts are not harmful, especially to children.
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Fitzjohn's Avenue resident Ronny Feiereisen has energetically campaigned against the mast, which would have stood just a few yards from where his children sleep at night. He said: "I'm extremely relieved. At last justice and rationale have prevailed. It is very comforting to know that the council is looking at each individual case based on the facts.
"Without the help of the schools working on behalf of parents and filtering down information none of this would have been possible."
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His neighbour Suzie Edwards said: "It's absolutely the best news. And it's the right news. We have to abide by certain rules and regulations and so should big companies. When we told people about the plans they were really cross they hadn't already heard about it."
If it had been given the go- ahead, the mast would have stood barely 100 yards from Devonshire House, Fitzjohn's Primary and St Anthony's, and not much further from St Mary's, Lyndhurst House, Northbridge Junior and Nursery, Maria Montessori, South Hamp-stead Junior and Senior schools and University College School.
Despite the health fears, however, the plans were eventually rejected because it was felt the mast would create visual clutter detrimental to the character and appearance of the Fitzjohn's/ Netherhall Conservation Area. It was also felt Orange had not sufficiently explored the possibility of installing the mast on an existing building.
Conservative councillor for Hampstead Chris Knight said: "I'm very happy this application has been refused. I'm dead keen on having no clutter in our streets and this mast would have been more clutter in the Conservation Area.
"I'm delighted this sort of thing is not going to be allowed to destroy our streets. Orange have had a rejection and it's up to them if they want to continue with it, but more than 800 people objected to this and it won't do them any good with their customers."
An Orange spokeswoman said: "We are disappointed at the refusal for the site at Fitzjohn's Avenue and we will now undertake a full appeal assessment before deciding a way forward. Given that there are a high number of mobile users in this area and our continued need for coverage, it is highly likely that an appeal will be lodged."