Orange fights for St Albans phone mast

PUBLISHED: 18:43 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 May 2010

TELECOMS giant Orange has gone to appeal in a bid to get the go ahead for a mast and equipment cabinet in a residential area of St Albans. Earlier this year a St Albans planning committee turned down a bid by Orange to install an eight-metre-high column a

TELECOMS giant Orange has gone to appeal in a bid to get the go ahead for a mast and equipment cabinet in a residential area of St Albans.

Earlier this year a St Albans planning committee turned down a bid by Orange to install an eight-metre-high column and equipment cabinet on a small area of green space on the corner of Sandpit Lane and Gurney Court Road.

Councillors refused it because of its visual impact and intrusive nature and the failure of Orange to demonstrate that there were more suitable alternative locations.

In their grounds for appeal, Orange maintain that there is a clear need for the proposed installation because some nearby areas have poor mobile phone reception.

They argue that there would be minimal changes in visual impact on the site because a steel lamppost would replace a concrete one of the same dimensions and the cabinet would be in a less prominent position than a previous one.

The company also insists that it has looked at other sites, including St Saviour's Church in Sandpit Lane and the scout hut in Sandpit Lane, neither of which had the support of the landowner.

They had also looked at the southern section of Clarence Park which the district council as landowners had blocked, the Three Valleys compound in Sandridge Lane, and "swapping" others lampposts on Sandpit Lane which would put the telecom equipment closer to residential properties than the appeal site.

The issue of the installation of a telecom mast on the site has led to a clash between residents and St Albans council with the former claiming the latter has not done enough to stop the installation of telecom equipment in residential parts of the district.

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