Revolt over St Albans telecom masts

TWO ward councillors have openly voiced their opposition to a long-running bid by Orange to put up a telecoms mast in a residential area. Both Cllrs Melvyn Teare and Salih Gaygusuz have made clear their opposition to Orange s proposal for a mobile phone m

TWO ward councillors have openly voiced their opposition to a long-running bid by Orange to put up a telecoms mast in a residential area.

Both Cllrs Melvyn Teare and Salih Gaygusuz have made clear their opposition to Orange's proposal for a mobile phone mast at the junction of Gurney Court Road and Sandpit Lane in St Albans.

Cllr Teare has set out his objections in a statement he plans to read at Monday's meeting of St Albans council's plans central committee which means he cannot take part in the debate over the planning application from Orange.

His fellow Marshalswick South councillor Salih Gaygusuz, who sits on the committee, has already made clear his frustrations at the way the whole matter has been handled and has forfeited his right to vote on the issue.


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Cllr Teare's criticisms are aimed mainly at Orange, accusing them of not having investigated more suitable sites such as on the roof of Verulam Point in Station Way or on land running alongside Clarence Park.

But Cllr Gaygusuz places more of the blame for the long-running saga on St Albans District Council Cabinet members who, he claims, have failed to come up with a policy like Milton Keynes to insist on a 50-metre distance from homes, nurseries, playgroups, school grounds or medical facilities.

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He also questioned why the council, in its position as trustees of Clarence Park, had rejected a bid to build a large telecom installation there which had resulted in Orange looking at installing microcells in the Gurney Court Road area instead.

But planning portfolio holder Cllr Chris Brazier said he was still trying to persuade Herts County Council to take a more robust approach to the siting of telecoms masts and equipment in the district. He maintained that Government guidelines made it difficult for HCC to act unless all 10 districts within the county reached agreement to fight existing legislation.

He said the reason Clarence Park was deemed unsuitable was because a covenant in the gifted land expressly forebade a mast being put there and it also it contravened the council's policy to allow masts to be put up on its land.

Officers are recommending approval of the mast in line with Government policy.

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