Neighbours battle to get mast moved

ANGRY neighbours have today pledged to battle on in their campaign to get a mobile phone mast moved.Residents from Stowupland and Stowmarket have penned a letter to the office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the hope it can force Mid Suffolk district council to pay for move.

ANGRY neighbours have today pledged to battle on in their campaign to get a mobile phone mast moved.

Residents from Stowupland and Stowmarket have penned a letter to the office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the hope it can force Mid Suffolk district council to pay for move.

David Andrew lives opposite the mast on Devon Road, Stowupland. He said: "We want to see if they will intervene and get the district council to do something more positive.

"We know every single resident supports the idea of it being moved and feel let down by the system which has allowed it to go up."


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Mr Andrew sent the letter with Colleen Rose, of Thorney Green Road, and Theresa Fitzgibbon, of Stowupland Road, Stowmarket, on behalf of all the campaigning residents.

The Evening Star revealed last month how Mid Suffolk planning officers missed the 56-day deadline to tell applicant Hutchison 3G of its decision to turn down the mast, meaning the development could go ahead.

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It used a second class stamp on the letter which meant it arrived one day late.

The council, along with around 12 residents, complained to the ombudsman, who recommended £200 compensation be awarded to Mr Andrew, Mrs Rose and Mrs Fitzgibbon. They described it as "derisory".

It was also suggested the council review the way it handles phone mast planning applications in the future.

The mast borders the A14 Ipswich-bound carriageway. Owners of an alternative site, at nearby Mount Pleasant Farm, have agreed to have the 12-metre mast on their land but the council and Hutchinson 3G are refusing to pay for the relocation.

Mr Andrew added: "I didn't think it would ever get this far.

"I thought once the ombudsman had proved the case against the council they would resolve the situation - particularly as a site has been found."

Stowupland parish council says the matter is now out of its hands and it does not intend on taking any further action at the moment.

Mid Suffolk district council has apologised for the error and says steps have been taken to ensure it does not happen again.

A spokesman said: "The council has co-operated fully with the independent investigation and is arranging time and trouble payments recommended in the report's finding."

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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