Residents win phone mast battle

CELEBRATIONS are in order today for an Ipswich community who have won their battle against a phone mast being put on their doorsteps.Residents living in Suffolk Road, Hervey Street, Vermont Crescent and Tuddenham Avenue started campaigning after receiving a letter from the council telling them about the mast.

CELEBRATIONS are in order today for an Ipswich community who have won their battle against a phone mast being put on their doorsteps.

Residents living in Suffolk Road, Hervey Street, Vermont Crescent and Tuddenham Avenue started campaigning after receiving a letter from the council telling them about the mast.

The letter stated a planning application had been handed into the council, on February 3, seeking permission to place the Hutchison 3G phone mast at the Co-operative stonemasons in Suffolk Road.

But after the residents got together making and displaying posters, starting a website about health issues and complaining to the Ipswich and Norwich Co-op - the company decided not to go ahead with plans.

Rick Meeks, of Hervey Street, said: "When I opened the letter and found out about the mast I was disgusted.

"There was no consultation and if it hadn't been for the council we would never have found out.

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"I always thought the Co-op was about ethical trading and was surprised it thought this would be a good idea.

"People can choose for themselves whether they want to use these phones but they have no decision whether to live near the masts.

"But it is just brilliant news that they have decided to back down. The whole community gathered together and got a real strength behind us to make the Co-op listen."

When residents heard the mast would not be put up several of them gathered at the site to celebrate.

Julia Phair, of Hervey Street, said: "It has made me feel really empowered to think the big company will listen to the small person when making a decision."

Craig Marchant, of Vermont Crescent, said: "This is a sign that people can make a difference and that those from different areas can come together to support a common cause."

Miriam Harrup, communications and community manager for the Ipswich and Norwich Co-op said: "As soon as we began to receive objections to Hutchison's planning application late last week, we said we would listen to local residents' views.

"We are a local co-operative business and believe in listening to our members and to local people.

"If anyone has any concerns about the way we carry out our business they can write, pick up the telephone or e-mail us. We will always do our best to resolve an issue amicably."

Are you campaigning against something happening in your street? 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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