NEWSFLASH: Residents win battle to stop mobile phone mast being installed

Melton MP Alan Duncan with a letter confirming Vodafone has decided not install a controversial mobile phone mast on a housing estate in the town EMN-150323-104432001

Melton MP Alan Duncan with a letter confirming Vodafone has decided not install a controversial mobile phone mast on a housing estate in the town EMN-150323-104432001

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Residents on a Melton housing estate are celebrating after telecoms company Vodafone decided to shelve plans to install a mobile phone mast there following a protest campaign.

The company has planning permission for the scheme, on the corner of Grange Drive and Sapcote Drive, but it has had a re-think after householders complained their health would be adversely affected and parked a caravan at the proposed site.

Melton MP Alan Duncan, who recently met representatives of Vodafone to discuss the plans, has received a letter from the firm stating the mast would not go up if an alternative location could be found.

Mr Duncan said: “This is the best possible outcome. People were dismayed at the prospect of this mast being put up on Sapcote Drive – that will not now happen. I am pleased that Vodafone has re-considered and paid attention to local opinion.”

The letter, from Paul Morris, head of government affairs at Vodafone UK, states: “Following our meeting in the House of Commons on March 19, I am now able to confirm that it is Vodafone’s intention not to proceed with the mast proposed for the junction of Grange and Sapcote Drive, as long as we are able to acquire and build an alternative in the area.”

The company said it will consult with local people before it decides where the mast might now go.

The letter continues: “A number of alternative locations have been identified as part of our recent search, and one inparticular appears to satisfy all our requirements.

“As we discussed, a new site must meet future coverage demands in the area, fit well with the existing network, and have the necessary power and backhaul broadband connections.

“We intend to contact the local authority to obtain the necessary planning and landlord consents for this new proposed site so we can proceed with this new location.

“We will of course undertake local stakeholder consultation prior to submitting the planning application.”

This is the second time residents have fought successfully against the phone mast since Melton Council gave planning permission in 2009.

Workmen from Vodafone were seen investigating the proposed site again last month prompting the latest protest campaign.