Row over new mast

A SECOND mobile phone mast is set to be built in a Suffolk village – despite concerns from a nearby school.Vodafone has been given the go-ahead by Mid Suffolk District Council to build on High Elm Farm, in Framsden Road, Pettaugh.

A SECOND mobile phone mast is set to be built in a Suffolk village – despite concerns from a nearby school.

Vodafone has been given the go-ahead by Mid Suffolk District Council to build on High Elm Farm, in Framsden Road, Pettaugh.

But the move has met strong objections from nearby residents and concern from Helmingham Primary School, which is about one mile away from the site.

Shaun Valentine, headteacher, said: "My main worry has been the safety of the community rather than the aesthetics of it.

"I think we need more information about the possible dangers and threats posed by such a mast."

The location of the mast, which will be the second to be built in the area, also met objections from the parish council.

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A spokeswoman said it would be a "blight of the countryside" and could lead to the devaluation of properties in the area.

Philippa Norris, who lives in nearby Winston, added: "My views across the valley are directly at this site and a group of such ugly masts in an unspoilt and particularly attractive piece of Suffolk countryside seems highly inappropriate.

"It is unfortunate one mast has already been permitted, but this should not be regarded as an excuse to put up more."

Despite these concerns, Mid Suffolk councillors backed an officers' report and voted it through.

Robert Eburne, planning control manager, said: "Insufficient weighting can be placed on health impacts, fear of health impacts or visual harm to the countryside to warrant refusal."

Meanwhile, councillors yesterday dismissed a grain and seed merchant's latest plans for a new agricultural storage building, office and weighbridge in Woolpit.

OC Jewers Ltd has applied had sought permission for the plans, but they were rejected after fierce opposition from a number of villagers.

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