Celebrations as phone mast appeal rejected

Residents of Weston village in Bath are celebrating the news that a bid to install a mobile phone mast near their homes has been rejected.

An attempt by mobile phone giant Vodafone to overturn a previous decision by B&NES Council not to grant permission has been turned down by an independent planning inspector.

┬áThe company had been seeking permission to erect the mast on land which is designated Greenbelt and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for over a year. The plans had faced stiff opposition from local residents in the area, with the backing of the area’s councillors Malcolm Lees and Colin Barrett.

The plan would have seen a 40-foot mast built on land behind Purlewent Drive in Weston known as Primrose Hill which is frequently used by local walkers and is within the Cotswold AONB.

Colin and Malcolm, who helped organise a petition against the plans when the appeal was lodged last year, have welcomed the announcement.

Cllr Malcolm Lees (Cons, Weston) said:

“This is fantastic news and marks a victory for the local residents who would have been impacted by this phone mast. This ruling by the planning inspector makes it clear that it is simply not appropriate to place such a large phone mast near people’s homes and on land which is designated AOND and Greenbelt. It was clear that this never made sense and Colin and I are pleased that common sense has prevailed.”

Cllr Colin Barrett (Cons, Weston) commented:

“We’re of course very pleased with this outcome, it’s just a shame that it took a year-long battle hundreds of signatures on a petition to get here. It would have been better for all involved if the phone companies had backed down earlier. Of course we understand the need for mobile phone companies to provide good network coverage, but this cannot be at the expense of people’s homes or park land.”