Welcome to Mast Sanity

We are the primary national organisation opposing the insensitive siting of mobile phone and Tetra masts in the UK. Read more...

Phone Mast News Feeds

News Now News Now
Google News Google News Feed
Powerwatch Powerwatch News Feed
** New** ES-UK ES-UK News Feed
MS Research Mast Sanity Research News Feed
MS News Mast Sanity News Feed

Donate

Please consider supporting our efforts.

Amount: 

Or Send Donations by post to:

Mast Sanity
c/o Highfields
Brantham Hill,
Manningtree, Essex
CO11 1SD

Actions

Actions

We have been asked to give members of the Public, particularly in Swindon, the rare opportunity to sign an MP's petition against a mobile phone mast in the Woodhall Park area of Swindon. Please register your support if you can. Thanks. The petition is here .

Email of  12th may 2004

URGENT APPEAL

I believe this is the first time Mast Sanity has called on campaigners across the country to support us in raising money so we can finally have an impact on legislation. 

Because of the fantastic efforts of a campaign in Bardsey, WE HAVE AT LONG LAST THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE EVER HAD TO GET RID OF THE INFAMOUS DEEMED CONSENT 56 DAY LOOPHOLE.  WE CANNOT LET THIS PASS. 

The Bardsey Campaign has applied for judicial review to challenge the legality of a mast which was erected by default.  The 56 day loophole is one of the most shameful abuses of an already abusive legislation.  If we win, this could be the beginning of much wider legislative change which will help all of us to get a safer and more ethical system in place. These battles are won when people unite and support each other.  We have to fund the campaigns who are fighting on our behalf.  Mast Sanity and the Bardsey Campaign need us.  They cannot go on without our help.  Mast Sanity has supported thousands of you and now it is at a cross roads.  We can move forward to success or retreat into failure.  It’s your choice and your responsibility.   But if YOU do not donate something now, Mast Sanity will fold and the Bardsey Group (and therefore hundreds of others) will also fail.  We will all be back where we started, isolated, fractured and powerless.  The Government and the Operators will have won, and we will have handed them the victory.  I do not want this on my conscience.  And I absolutely refuse to believe that we are so lacking in spirit and in honour that we will allow it to happen.

NOTE : The local Bardsey people are taking this action to help the hundreds of other cases of this kind in the country who will benefit if they win and the 56 day loophole is proved to be incompatible with Human Rights Legislation.   Sadly, they may not gain the removal of their own mast through this case, because of the nature of the application.  There is a chance it may happen but more likely the case will be reheard. 

They  have employed Alastair Wallace of Public Law solicitors, and obtained the opinion of top barrister David Wolfe, who has given a positive opinion. They are now preparing for their Leave hearing on Monday 17th May.  We all believe there is a strong chance of success.   

The decision now is whether to proceed if leave is granted.  They intend to take the case forward through insurance. This means they pay a sum of money which covers them for all costs if they lose.  However if they win and costs are awarded, they are hoping to refund all donations over £20 pro rata.

The action the Bardsey Campaign is taking is not through legal aid but through personal funds.  The local people have already spent £10,000 to get to this stage.  They accept this cost willingly but know that they cannot raise all the required amount for the insurance payment if they get Leave.  There is only a short time allowed before proceeding, and they have to know that we can all pledge that money for them.  

Mast Sanity has already assisted by paying for the barrister’s opinion.   Planning Sanity is also giving as much as possible.  However donations are at an all time low and we have approx £250.00 in the bank. With net charges and telephone line charges being paid in the next month or two (and an increase in payment as a result of the number of people visiting our site) we simply cannot afford to give any more.

Those of you who think they will not gain personally from this particular case, are wrong.  A high profile legal decision in our favour adds tremendous weight to Mast Sanity and its ability to represent and support ALL groups.   We spend an awful lot of time telling the media we are not NIMBYs.   Now we have to prove it.  It’s time to show that we really want national change and we’re determined to get it.  If everyone of us sent in a personal donation of £10 or £20, the money could be raised over night.  What a small amount for such a huge reward!                

THIS IS THE FIRST CHANCE WE HAVE HAD TO GET MAJOR LEGISLATIVE CHANGE. 

Cases before this have just challenged interpretation of planning guidance and have not had great significant impact.  IF WE WIN, THIS WILL.   It may result in lots of masts coming down (though probably not the Bardsey one) and it will mean that in the future there will be no more victims of the 56 day loophole.   The Bardsey Campaign has already spent a huge amount of money on something that may well only benefit others.  Let’s give them our thanks and support their determination to get change for us.

 Mast Sanity volunteers have had little support or help from others over the last couple of months, even though calls to our helpline and emails to our area coordinators are up 10 fold as well as the hits on the website.  We have approached a number of high profile campaigners across the country, who we have helped in the past, where we know donations to the local cause have been huge; all have refused our request for help.

We can’t go on like this.  It is very demoralizing for the few people who work so hard to help others, to feel that it is all one sided.  Those who take our advice, which is freely given, don’t seem to realize that we rely entirely on their voluntary financial support in order to survive.  Expenses are currently not being paid to any of our volunteers.

WITHOUT THIS SUPPORT,  MAST SANITY CANNOT PUSH FOR CHANGE IN THE LEGISLATION WHICH ENABLES OPERATORS TO RIDE ROUGHSHOD OVER LOCAL COMMUNITIES.  WE NEED YOUR HELP TO URGENTLY RAISE £10,000 IN CASH OR IN PLEDGES FOR THIS LANDMARK LEGAL ACTION. 

The Operators know they can frighten us off by threatening the costs of legal action.  The Government/Industry alliance depends on public fear and apathy.  They don’t expect us to fight back and thy certainly don’t expect us to act collectively in support of campaigns in other parts of the country. This is why they treat us with such contempt and it is why they always win.   Now at long last we have the chance to turn the tide. 

WE have to stand up and be counted… ‘ALL IT TAKES FOR BAD MEN TO SUCCEED IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING.’ 

If sufficient funds aren’t raised and the case is dropped then money will of course be returned, so please include your name and address.  As we are asking for donations to support the second stage of this action we DO NOT intend to cash the cheques until this action has obtained Leave stage and the decision made to continue.  If you wish any unused donation to be donated to Mast Sanity please let us know.

Please  register your campaign if you haven’t done so already and please join the nationwide support network that has been set up for your benefit. Please volunteer to help Mast Sanity continue and continue to build on the respected position we have worked very hard for.

WE ASK YOU TO PLEASE ACT IMMEDIATELY!!!  Make cheques payable to Mast Sanity, marked ‘56 Day Legal Fund’ and send  to Mast Sanity, 32 Seven Stiles Drive, Marple, Stockport, Cheshire.

Email of 30th May 2004

Urgent Appeal - UPDATE

First of all let me say a huge thank you for all the donations sent as a result of our appeal for funds.

Many of you and your contacts will now have heard that the Bardsey group was refused Leave on the 19th May. 

We are now going to fight that decision. 

Interestingly, during the case the Judge made a significant statement.  He informed The Bardsey Campaign that they could seek redress against the Council’s maladministration.   This is surprising because they had been advised that they could not judicially review the Council’s decision, as it was an ‘approval’, in legal terms. This contrary view by the Bardsey Judge, is in keeping with Judge Hooper’s decision in the Gerrards Cross Leave Hearing, and this could now provide a valuable legal avenue that other campaign groups might want to pursue.

The Judge showed great sympathy for the people who had to suffer as a result of this loophole. He recognised and appreciated the "terrible state of affairs" which the residents found themselves in, but also stated that it was clear it was the Government’s INTENTION that this loophole exist.   He said,  "(Parliament) rightly or wrongly believes that it is in the public interest to allow these masts to be erected with limited means of objection if not done properly."

Barrister David Wolfe is of the opinion that this decision could be successfully appealed and has offered to continue the case on a "no win no fee basis".   He believes that the decision is wrong and that human rights legislation  must be presumed to be relevant to UK legal decisions, unless it is explicitly stated that the case is exempt.  He is confident that this can be argued at appeal with a good chance of success.

This means that Bardseymasts can continue the legal challenge, but will still need to raise £10,000 to cover insurance costs if Leave is given at the next stage.

Bardseymasts have decided that if the Barrister’s opinion is that this challenge could succeed, then they should continue as far as their finances will allow.  If Bardsey are forced to pull out now at this crucial stage, through lack of funds, then the Operators will triumph, and ALL of us will suffer the consequences.  
It will take another group potentially 2 years and £20,000 to reach the stage we are now at with Bardsey.  

The implications of this case are so significant in its potential to block the 56 day loophole through which so many "refused" masts are erected, that it was never going to be easy.  Clearly there are powerful forces which do not want us to succeed. 

We must send a message to the Government and the Operators that the British people refuse to be victims and guinea pigs.  We will not provide them with their billion pound profits at the expense of our health and our safe environment.  They must take notice that we are a force to be reckoned with.  If we pull back now, we have handed them not only this victory, but possibly future parliamentary legislation that could protect us.   

Those who, perhaps understandably, have a negative view, are playing into the hands of very dangerous people, and very dangerous technology.  They have four weapons of mass destruction which they rely on for our defeat -  Fear, Apathy, Pessimism, and Exhaustion.  Are we going to let them win?

Bardsey can only continue if the funds for the insurance /costs can be raised. As a result of the last appeal you have raised £2,000.  It was a great effort, but we need more!

All but 10 of our political representatives have just let our single biggest chance to change mast planning legislation and thoroughly embarrass the Government, slip through their fingers( They didn’t turn out to vote on the
Richard Spring bill).   We should make all those MP’s aware that they have failed us, and that we will make sure their failure is reflected in our vote.  We cannot trust them to legislate for us, so now we must do it ourselves by continuing this vital support.

If you did not donate to this action because of negative media reports, please remember that these are  well known Government and Industry tactics to get the result they want.  Don’t be fooled by them!  If a barrister of David Wolfe's standing is prepared to waive his fee to get this case pushed forward then 

THIS CASE IS NOT LOST.

Please send donations made payable to MAST SANITY to 32 Seven Stiles Drive, Marple Stockport Cheshire SK6 6LT and mark cheques on BACK, "56 Day Legal Fund.  As with the previous appeal cheques will not be cashed until we know that the case is going orward so please state if you wish cheques to be returned or donated to Mast Sanity general fund if the  monies are not needed. 

THE SUCCESS OF THIS CASE WILL SET A LEGAL PRECEDENT PLEASE SUPPORT IT – IT IS VITAL TO YOU AND TO US ALL.

December 2003

Stop Press - Trustees vote against the phone mast!!!

This evenings candle-lit vigil was a great success with nearly 100 people turning up at the Pine Ridge golf club to show their opposition to plans to build a phone mast on Fuel Allotments land. This venue was chosen because the Fuel Allotment trustees were holding their quarterly meeting this evening and top of the agenda was believed to be a vote on the phone mast.

Also there to report the event was Meridian TV who conducted interviews with TCARA committee members and the general public. This footage should be shown during the Thursday afternoon and evening news bulletins.

The latest news we have is that during the meeting all trustees, apart from one, voted against the erection of the phone mast on the Fuel Allotments.

Many thanks for all the support we have received over the last 10 to 12 weeks.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

R Bullock, Chairman TCARA  Many thanks to you Lisa and Mast Sanity for all the help - much appreciated!

November 2003

I thought you would like to know about a couple of anti Tetra successes we have recently had on the Isle of Wight and give them publicity on your web site.

1) At the end of last week we heard that O2 Airwave had decided to withdraw their contraversial application to erect a 27m high tetra mast on land designated a Historic Park and Garden near Seaview on the I o W.   The official reason was that they were achieving adequate coverage from other base stations in the area.   However I am sure that it was more to do with a vigorous campaign of opposition led by a local circuit judge, a reporter on the local paper who incidentally lives less than 100m from the proposed site and me a retired managing director of an electronics company specialising in RF systems and satcomms.   Nearly 200 local residents wrote letters of objection to the LPA and there were also letters from the Victorian Society, (our house is GradeII listed, the Garden History Society, the Isle of Wight Society and a number of other local associations.

2) A Tetra base station located about 50m from a house near Shanklin and erected without permission was giving the couple living in the house serious health problems within hours of being switched on.   The usual things like headaches, sleeplessnes, nausea, lack of concentration etc.

As a result of their complaints O2 agreed, with the consent of the landowner, to move the base station 500m further away from the house.   However this is still within an AONB and may not get LPA approval.

Both the above stories received extensive coverage in the local paper and on TV.

As part of my contribution I carried some measurements on the Shanklin station and proved beyond doubt that Tetra base station signals do pulse.   Ian Sharpe and Dr. Grahame Blackwell have put these pictures on their websites and I am attaching 2 or 3 for you to use if you wish.

Kind regards

November 2003

Just had to let you know that we have today been informed by The Planning Inspectorate that the appeal by Orange PCS Ltd for a mast here at Seaford in East Sussex has been dismissed.

We fought our campaign based on the advice that you so kindly sent or passed on when we spoke to each other.

At the time we were made aware of the application, we had not heard of "mastsanity" and had no idea of what to expect,how to fight it or anything else.

When your name was passed to us by a neighbour and we first contacted you, things became so much clearer, and although we knew that we were up against it there was a little light at the end of the tunnel.

The appeal was lodged on 23rd June and the first five weeks were maniac when we were petitioning, but the last three months has seemed like an eternity.

We must give you all at "mastsanity" our utmost thanks and good wishes to you all. You all provide such an invaluable service and deserve to suceed.

September 03

The TETRA mast was moved from Icewell Hill Flats in Newmarket, after residents started a campaign, complaining about the perceived health risks.  Forest Heath Planning Department supported their community and the mast was removed. The intention was that it was going to be sited in a more suitable location, in a non-residential area away from schools and hospitals. 

 The original mast erected on the Football ground had planning permission for mobile phone antenna only, and the installation of 3 no. collinear antennas was undertaken on 13 February 2003 under cover of darkness, without planning permission and was only noticed by a local resident who complained to the District Council.  East Cambs District Council had warned Airwave MM02 Ltd in writing that they needed full planning permission but they repeatedly denied that they were planning to erect TETRA antennas. 

 The community is horrified at the underhanded way Airwave MM02 Ltd have behaved by erecting this mast without planning permission and that it is still up and transmitting.

East Cambs District Council has now rejected Airwave MM02 Ltd application for Retrospective planning permission.

Airwave have now appealed against that decision and it is with the planning inspectorate as we speak.  The council issued an enforcement notice after they rejected the retrospective planning permission and Airwave have now appealed against the enforcement notice as well so there is now another appeal running (end date for letters 23 Sept) separately with the Planning Inspectorate.  These are by the written representative method.

September 2003

Today, Tues. 9 Sept.03,  Fife Council 's North East Area Development Committee heard mmO2's planning application for 9 new Airwave Tetra sites. On a vote of 13 to 3, they decided to defer the matter for six months.

 As many of the sites are in areas designated as 'Areas of Great Landscape Value' individual Committee site visits were considered essential.

Further reference also required to be made to the Scottish Executive whose advisory note of August 2003 was considered to give rise to uncertainty for Planners.

Importantly, a recently identified apparent ill-health cluster in a rural community near a Dolphin Tetra mast at Drumcarrow Craig, near St Andrews, was under consideration by the local Health Authority. An assurance from the Health Authority would be sought prior to the taking of the adjourned 9 Applications.

Generally the Councillors were most unhappy that they had been advised that they had no scope to reject the applications on health grounds - and that the ICNIRP certification was absolute.

Campaign Groups 'no2 tetra' and  'East Neuk against Tetra' applauded the 13 Councillors, who showed a very high level of concern and determination to reflect the public's legitimate health concerns.

June 2003

1.) On sunday I emailed my objection letter to 2 journalists / 3 councillors and MP.

2.) On monday I talked with the journalists about the mast, mentioning our freeholder's charitable interests with young children.

3.) On tuesday we were photgraphed outside our block with the deputy leader of camden council who said he would help us oppose it.

4.) On wednesday I faxed our freeholder / Vodafone agent / Managing agent out objection letter.

5.) On thursday I faxed them all a copy of a leaflet MAKING PROMINENT REFERENCE TO US BEING NEXT TO A PARK WITH YOUNG CHILDREN!

6.) On friday I faxed them all the stories from the Camden New Journal ("Residents go through the roof over masts plan") and Ham & High

("Residents unite to block mobile mast").

In fairly terse phone calls to both our managing agent and Vodafone's agent during the week, I said this would happen "over my dead body".

I was surprised to get a phone on friday morning from the managing agent saying the freeholder had withrawn his consent, but delighted nonetheless! I asked for it to be put in writing so am expecting a letter soon.

June 03

This is just to let you know that we had very good news this morning! The site meeting at which the application was to be decided was held; the planning officer recommended rejection of the application, and the members of the Winchester City Council's planning telecommunications sub-committee were unanimous in also rejecting the application.

The planning officer's reasons were that it would impact adversely on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and would be visible from the South Downs Way, and also on the approach from all directions.

The sub-committee rejected it because of:

Lack of communication & consultation with the local residents - Airwave had not talked to the parish council before they applied for planning.  They got the address wrong on the application, and there was much confusion over where exactly the mast was going to be. The initial plans were very badly drawn & unclear. (There was also confusion as to whether the orange planning notices had gone up in the right palces).

Pentlands Chartered Surveyors (based in Gloucester)  replied that they did not consult with the parish council as they had not deemed it necessary - they'd designated the site as "traffic light green".  This did not go down well with the sub-committee.

Consideration of alternative sites: Pentlands gave three or four locations where they said the landowners had been approached and had not been willing to allow a mast on their land. Two of those locations were in Beauworth parish,  and the both owners of the land had received no communication whatsoever about it. Caroline & James at Millbarrow Farm next door to us are one of these landowners, & attended the meeting, and were able to tell the committee that they had not had a letter about it. The first they heard was when the plans were circulated round the village by the parish council.

Pentland responded by saying they'd been assured the letters had been sent out, and took the lack of a reply as a no. This is very different from stating that the landowners had decided they did not want a mast on their land, and putting this forward as a serious alternative site. Two of the other sites they said they'd investigated were actually on the South Downs Way itself.  It became apparent that there had been no serious attempt to locate an alternative site.

They had also not investigated the possibility of mast sharing - there are several in the area already. 

Impact on an AONB, which is designated soon to be included in a new National Park, and on the South Downs Way, a nationally recognised footpath enjoyed by thousands of people.  The mast would highly visible above the trees, and would be particularly noticeable in winter. The East Hants area officer fron the AONB also attended the meeting, stated that they objected to the application, agian because of the impact on the AONB/soon to be National Park, and the South Downs Way.

Removal of 2 metres of varied & old established hedge for building access. The hedge would have been replaced and only pedestrian access  needed after construction, but this did not satisfy the committee.

Health worries - the committee acknowledged that there were health concerns regarding these masts.

Two of our neighbours had also not received the letter from the council informing them of the application - letters were sent to 6 households, but not to the one immediately opposite the site whose house name was actually used in the application address, nor to our neighbours diagonally across from it.

I think that covers all the matters that concerned the committee. I don't know whether we will get an official summary of the reasons - I'll find out & forward it to you if there are any material additions.

There was a strong turn out of villagers at the site meeting - the population is about 90, and there were 30 or more there this morning. There were also 18 letters of objection, plus 2 more e-mails this morning, and I & my neighbour had both spoken to the planning officer handling the case, so we kept up the pressure on her.

We were lucky I think that the applicant appeared to be extremely incompetent and somewhat arrogant in their approach. The surveyors were not local (Gloucester), as was obvious from the numerous errors in spelling of local place names, and their statement that the area was "extremely remote", which is complete rubblish. (We 2 miles from the A272, 8 minutes' drive from Winchester, and about 15  - 20 mins from Southampton, the Southampton route going through numerous villages). It doesn't look as thought they employed a local surveyor at all. The sub-committee ticked them off about the lack of communication, saying that the previous chairman had gone to great lengths to inform the telecommunications companies of the level of consultation & communication that they expected on these applications, and that they would have to go back to the companies and remind them of what was necessary.

I don't know whether Airwave will appeal - I would hope not given the sub-committee's resounding rejection of the application.  We know they will try again for a site nearby, so we may have to go through this again, and we will be vigilant for news of forthcoming applications.  If I hear of any, I'll let you know. I think they chose this site because we are a small village with relatively few people, and they thought they could sneak this through before people woke up to what was happening. Many people knew nothing about it until our neighbours circulated a letter urging everyone to object, a few days before the date for objections expired.

Very many thanks to you and your fellow campaigners for your help on this.  People opposing these applications have very little time to investigate the planning process and put together effective opposition.  Your advice was much appreciated, & I will be sending you a donation.

April 2003

Southampton City Council has won a major test case, following the rejection of a planning appeal by telecoms giant Orange to site a mobile phone mast next to a local school’s playing field and children’s play area. The planning application by Hutchison 3g, on behalf of Orange, was subject to an appeal and included erecting a 12m high ‘monopole’ and associated equipment on the grass verge opposite Chamberlayne Leisure Centre and adjacent to Mayfield Park in Weston.

The proposal was contrary to the city council’s planning policies and against government guidance for the siting, design and appearance of telecommunications equipment.
The city council successfully defended the appeal on the grounds of the visual/environmental impact on the character of the area and the health issues of young people. The Planning Inspectorate’s Inspector concluded: “The appearance of the proposed development would be harmful to the character and appearance of the locality” and added: “insufficient information had been provided on emission levels at nearby locations in the grounds of schools and used by schools for outside games and PE purposes.”

if significant importance in the Appeal Dismissal was the comment by the Planning Inspectorate’s Inspector concerning health implications. “Government advice in PPG 8 is that health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission. It is for the decision-maker to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case.”

As Councillor Richard Williams, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, comments: “As both the local Councillor for the area who opposed the mast and as Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, this decision by the Planning Inspectorate is most pleasing. It is ground breaking in that it is the first decision of its kind that I am aware of that recognises the issue of health as a material consideration on the siting of such masts.”

He added: “I have campaigned against residential sitings of such masts for a number of years and this decision not only has positive implications for the residents of Weston, but will be of significant importance nationally. Having said that this decision may be challenged in the courts by the telecoms companies. If this decision is allowed to stand, all telecoms companies will find local people and local authorities much tougher opponents in the future.”

In the last 15 months the site in Weston had been subject to similar applications from two other mobile phone companies. All three applications have been refused planning permission by the city council.

February 2003

Just some news you may be interested in concerning Tetra mast applications in AONB AGLV, Green Belt area.

Guildford Borough Council planning applications 02/P/02536 and 02/P/02537 for Tetra masts near Holmbury St Mary, Surrey - one permanent, one temporary on adjacent sites.

Last night (Tuesday 4th Feb) Guildford Borough Council Planning Committee made the decision to refuse planning permission for the controversial Tetra communications masts proposals near Holmbury St. Mary Cricket Ground in Surrey. G.B.C. planning officers' recommendation for refusal was supported unanimously with no councillors speaking for the proposals and both local Borough councillors speaking against. Objections were received from local residents, the CPRE, the Parish Council, and Surrey Wildlife Trust. Planning officers and the Chairman of the Planning Committee also expressed confidence that their recommendations have strong grounds should the applicants Airwave mm02 appeal against the decision. Airwave have said they will appeal, and we await the response of the landowner Shere Manor Estates, who have given verbal assurances that they will take account of local opinion and without whose permission the proposals cannot go ahead.

This area is called The Hurtwood. It covers several thousand acres, is designated an Area Of Great Natural Beauty and an Area of Great Landscape Value, it's in the Green Belt on permissive public access land and the proposed site is close to footpaths and very exposed. It would be hard to find a more sensitive site to propose a mast short of having it on top of an Ancient Monument as well.

Two local residents (one is chairman of the Parish Council) spoke against the proposals.

Inspector Andy Smith spoke for the application on behalf of Surrey Police police, saying in essence 'we need a new system'. Andrew Entwistle, head of Airwave's land acquisition department also spoke for, and claimed that this was the only possible site and that the mast would blend in well with the trees. This last caused a certain amount of incredulous laughter as the application plan, displayed on three 8 x 6 projector screens, showed the mast towering over said trees.

The Chairman of the Planning Committee intervened on a point of information at this stage to say that although individual Members may have thoughts as to safety considerations, Government guidelines preclude them from being taken into account by planning committee members providing they meet the relevant standards.

In addition to the planners' recommended reasons for refusal which if I remember correctly were the expected adverse impact on an AONB, inadequately demonstrated search for alternative sites, etc, the council asked that this be added, from objections on behalf of the Surrey Wildlife Trust (there may be the odd unimportant word misquoted here, but the essence is correct):

'(the applicants)... have provided inadequate information to satisfactorily demonstrate that the proposals would not adversely affect the habitat of protected wildlife species within the Hurtwood Holmbury St. Mary site of Nature Conservation Importance, and therefore the proposal is contrary to policy NE4 of the Guildford Borough Council Plan 2003.'

January 2003

As I've told you previously, in Aug 2001, One 2 One put up a mast close to my house in Bothwell.  After a 6 month campaign by the local residents in which I and another lawyer neighbour handled the legal arguments (on a non-professional basis), the mast was removed.

Following a local press feature about this, another residents' group in the Uddingston / Tannochside area engaged me professionally to represent them in objecting to an application for planning permission by Hutchison 3G.  This was to be a very small mast on the back roof of a social club, so aesthetically there was no case to argue.   The local authority refused permission before I got seriously involved, but Hutchison appealed the refusal to the Scottish Executive on the last possible date, in October 2002.  A Planning Appeal Hearing was arranged for 23rd December, all written submissions were lodged and we fully prepared, only for Hutchison to withdraw the appeal on 20 December.  We are seeking an award of expenses, and await a decision from the Enquiry Reporter.  Our strongest argument was likely to have been a failure by Hutchison  to prove that they had researched all reasonable alternative sites, and had failed to consult adequately in advance with the local authority and the community.

I should add that my areas of legal practice are mainly in corporate & Commercial property law, but through these two situations I've had to learn a bit about masts, although I do not pretend to be an expert, merely diligent and, perhaps, lucky!  The legal grounds in the two cases were totally different, but the results prove that objectors' groups can succeed.

October 2002

Many thanks for your help in opposing this planning application. I thought you would like to know that we have been told by the Planning Officer responsible that they will be recommending rejection on three grounds:

1. Not enough effort to explore alternative sites / mast sharing.

2. Visual amenity issue in residential area.

3. Perceived health risks on behalf of local residents.

The meeting to vote on the application is tomorrow (Tuesday 22nd October 2002) but I would think it unlikely that the Council would over-turn a recommendation of rejection. Assuming that is the case, the only remaining worry is if O2 decide to appeal.

I will continue to keep you informed in the hope that, should it be necessary, you will continue to lend your support.

I have also mailed thanks to the three AMs who lent their support (Peter Black, Gwenda Thomas and Dai Lloyd) and will be carefully composing a mail to the two area representatives who appear to have done nothing (Janet Davies and Alun Cairns)

October 2002

STREET, Somerset. Tetra has failed twice. First time the landlord withdrew consent (CJ Clarks shoes) and second time about two months ago the planning failed due very large scale public opposition AND the landlord would have withdrawn consent as well in light of local concerns.

September 2002

Just to let you know, we used alot of your advice and parts of the objection letters against a proposal for placing a telecommunications mast in Boothstown and it worked!!!!!!!!  Many thanks,

September 2002

Thank you for replying to my e-mail regarding Hutchinson 3G making a presentation to the Local Council. 

Just to update you,This was a second application from H3G with one alteration from the first, which had been rejected in February. The application was due to be heard by the Planning Committee on 6 August, but was deferred at the request of Hutchinson 3G in order that they could make a presentation to the council.  My neighbour & I read all your stuff and started a campaign.  We leafletted the area, put posters up using the Kitchener ,Your Country Needs You,  theme, slightly adapted of course.  We then held a demo at the site, which was attended by over 100 people.  Our local MP, and representatives of all the main political parties, incuding some of our Councillors,  attended to support us.  We got local press coverage, and used your 'Kids B4 Quids' poster which you kindly e-mailed - I will send a photo.  We made a dummy mast of the exact measurements but didn't actually erect it as the site is on a busy pavement, and we were worried it would fall on someone!    We demonstrated its height using helium balloons, and also built a cabinet to the exact measurements given on the plans.  It was huge.  We collected approx. 400 signatures and presented a petition to our MP.  We even got one radio interview. We were very pleased with how it all went.

 To cut a long story short, the application was unanimously rejected again last Thursday. 

 However, we think we have won the battle, but not the war.  Four applications were heard from H3G at the same planning meeting, and all were rejected.

We are worried about what happens next.  H3G must be getting desperate, as they have to get their network up. Our Council seem to be totally opposed to the number of applications they are receiving - it as if a floodgate has opened.   

We are also surprised that although lots of people affected by the other 3 applications turned up at the Town Hall to hear the application, no-one, apart from myself, had registered to speak as an objector.  Is this kind of reticence normal?

We are therefore considering the idea of calling on all people in our borough affected by these applications to hold a joint demonstration, possibly in our local market place or outside the Town Hall

We will keep in touch, and than you most sincerely for your help and support.

August 2002

Many thanks for your reply and the information.

We were successful.   The application was turned down for two reasons.

1. Intrusion in a Area of Special Landscape Interest adjoining AONB

2.It was not felt that there was a proven need.

We tried using Justice Ouseley's ruling re perceived risks and extracts from the Stewart report encouraging a precautionary principle.  The Officers advised that this line was untenable and inadmissible.  Obviously there is room for more education of Council Officers!!!!

August 2002

The 'No Moor Masts' group in Heaton Moor, Stockport, have defeated Hutchison and Crown Castle in their attempt to dump a 3G triple mast set up in the middle of their community at a planning meeting last night. A well briefed group of councillors unanimously threw out the application on the grounds of damaging visual amenity in a Conservation Area.  We excpect an appeal.

August 02

Many thanks for your reply and the information.

We were successful.   The application was turned down for two reasons.

1. Intrusion in a Area of Special Landscape Interest adjoining AONB

2.It was not felt that there was a proven need.

We tried using Justice Ouseley's ruling re perceived risks and extracts from the Stewart report encouraging a precautionary principle.  The Officers advised that this line was untenable and inadmissible.  Obviously there is room for more education of Council Officers.  If you wish to contact the planning Department in West Berkshire the person to address is Paul Cavanagh.

July 2002

The planning application for a 12 metre (39 foot) Mast at Hallam Grange Tennis Club was turned down by Sheffield City Council Planning at the Council hearing on Monday 8th July.              This is excellent news

July 2002

I have just succeeded in having a 12m 3g mast rejected by southend council, on the height and the perceived health fear. southend council now want all masts rejected and want to use my case a test case.

many thanks for all the info you have provided with my case.

May 2002

Just thought you'd like to know that I'm standing as a candidate in the General Election here in Ireland as an Anti-mast candidate.  My main aims are to raise awareness, gain publicity and make those in power notice.  If  I can ruffle a few feathers at the same time, that would be a bonus.  We've been inspired by your website and used alot of the information contained thereon.  We'll let you know how we're getting on.

May 2002

Just wanted to let you know that the Groombridge Residents have been successful in the fight against an application for a 23m tall dead tree mast by Orange.

Wealden District Council refused the application by what was close to a unanimous decision. The reasons for refusal are a) to protect an AONB and b)

loss of local amenity due to residents concerns over possible health effects. I can advise the exact wording of the refusal for your website when we receive the official notice in the next couple of days.

Thank you for your help and advice which proved invaluable in helping us with our campaign.

March 2002

Planning application for phone mast refused! - this is second time it has been refused for this site & the application is the ninth we have opposed for phone masts along a one-mile stretch of a main road in the last year - no doubt many more to follow!

Have a good weekend - we certainly will!

March 2002

Just had the local councillor around. The planning meeting on Tuesday (26th) will move to refuse BT Cellnet permission to erect their mast at Tollgate Road, Margam. Also, on the back of the publicity generated by our pressure; Corus have ordered the removal of a mobile phone mast with base station on their land in Margam.

March 2002

I am just writing to let you know that the planning application was unanimously rejected by the Planning Committee at last nights meeting. We had only 3 minutes to present our case and for information I attach a copy of what we said (which was also passed to all the local councillors)

The key issues to our success were

a) Hutchesons not being represented

b) the planning officer failing to provide evidence re alternative sites

c) a genuine concern amongst the Councillors that Health was an issue

d) reference to the Court of Appeal decision in the Newport case (a real winner this one!)

e) realisation that this was the first of potentially several applications within Stratford and this would have opened the stable doors.

To be fair to the Councillors they were very supportive all the way.

Naturally the local community are delighted. There is a possibility of an appeal but we are hopeful that in the circumstances the owners of the building concerned will withdraw permission for the installation anyway.

No doubt this issue will raise its head in Stratford again but having done some research (Thanks for your help) I should be able to help other campaigners if necessary.

February 2002

We are happy (and relieved) to indicate that the appeal to the Planning Inspectorate by a Cellular Operator [against the April 2001 decision by our local planning authority in the London Borough of Sutton to refuse prior approval to site a 10 m GSM / DCS telecom mast in a residential area] was dismissed by the Inspector on Jan 25, 2002. The main reasons given by the Inspector for dismissing the appeal were serious visual harm and insufficient evidence of alternative sites. The issue of actual health effects or perceived health effects, as raised in various representations by the local residents, was not considered to be a valid reason to reject the proposal on health grounds. It remains to be seen whether the operator decides to take the issue to the Courts.

We are particularly grateful to Chris Maile at CfPS and Lisa O for their extensive information and advise in developing our representations to the local LPA in the first phase and then to the Planning Inspectorate in the second phase on this matter.

February 2002

update on 15m mast at Westbury ind estate Hyde Stockport.  Got over 400 signatures from surrounding houses Local MP wrote to Council complaining Two local councillors agreed to speak on our behalf & I was nominated to speak against the proposal.  FOUND - Land on which proposed mast was to be errected was sold to a Mr. W Plevin under a restrictive covenant restricting him to the use for which he bought it i.e. Storing /parking his lorries & trailors.

Chief Planning officer spoke first and said the mast would not be unsightly and the committee were not to consider any health issues. 1st councillor rose and asked why a)Hutchinsons hadn't searched to find out if land was available for this purpose. b) Why Mr Plevin had not told them he couldn't oblige them c) why the Planning dept didn't know about the restrictions. Answer "we're only human"

Under questioning, the rep from Hutchinsons said he would be happy to have it in his front garden, Laughter all round - unanimous objection vote - 28 days to appeal Round one to us I think. Article in Tameside Advertiser helped generate interest and we circulated the planning officers telephone no & email address to the objectors and asked them to bombard him with objections

January 2002

The Byron Avenue mast is just going through the public consultation process for a second time after Winchester City Council's original decision to let Orange put it up was challenged in a judicial review. The council conceded but is still maintaining it cannot consider health issues in mast applications (contrary to paragraph 29 of PPG8).

It of course takes comfort from paragraph 30. So much for official planning guidance!

Despite support from our MP and a lot of coverage of different angles in the local press & TV over the past year, we're still facing an uphill struggle with our local council, which has lost mast appeals before now and seems wary of turning down new masts in case the network operator appeals. Councils seem to take vastly different approaches to masts; it's yet another postcode lottery as far as residents are concerned.

*****

Hart D Council Development control committee refused 100% vote, a full planning application from H3G for 3 more 3G antennae, one dish antenna and equipment cabinet at the Water Tower, Hartley Wintney, Hants.

Mr R Palmer (agent) spoke for the application,

Mr P Green (resident) against the application.

Wardmember S Band summed up the reasons for refusal as:

1) accumulative effect will have even more of a detrimental effect on the visual amenity of the community. She referred to the letter from S Buyers in which he wrote that the government limits development on existing masts by permitting only a certain amount (GPDO 95) and PPG 8 advises that LPA should be mindful of the accumulative effect, see clause 14 ,par. 20 , 28.

2)The accumulation of another operator and more equipment will increase further unacceptable noise, loss of privacy and annoyance to particularly the residential properties neighbouring this already industrial development.

3) H3G has not proven it has searched for other sites; like on existing Pylons etc.

4) H3G has not submitted confirmation of compliance with ICNIRP guidelines including the accumulative effect of the recently erected Vodafone 3G antennae on the Water Tower.

Thank you all who have helped us with our objections (91 letters received), we shall wait to see what H3G will do with this...

*****

Latest success - Silkstone ( near Barnsley) mast action group have forced the Vicar to withdraw from scheme to allow Hutchison 3G place mast on church steeple - this was 24 hours before Planning Committee decision - when planning officials recommended approval.

Our success followed a public meeting with over 70 present and addressed by our MP, a local Doctor and other local people.  Villagers wrote over 150 letters to Planning Dept and we had a petition with 500 signatures.  

We are ecstatic that we have won after 3 months hard work.   And loads of thanks to Mast Sanity, we gained a lot of help from this website - thank you

****

Just to inform u that we manage to stop the planning applecation of ntl to erect a 35mtre mast mainly on percieved health grounds and by using tech details ie stewert report. Rossendale council councillers rejected the app unanimously!. many thanks for your help.  Just one point the council planning dept acutally recommended that the app be passed, they at no stage were any help!  We also made a portfolio that we personnally handed to each counceller, we feel that helped. also it was the first time rossendale council had a public meeting. we had 3mins to make our speech to them, this was followed with a counciller who has been with us all the time who then had 5mins to speak on our behalf. no one was there from ntl to speak.  We now intend to pursue our fight aginst the existing mast that only a few years ago broadcast just tv/radio and now houses many pieces of equipment for telecommunications and has been structurly strengthened three times. at no stage have we been informed by anyone that this was being done. this mast is just 40 mtrs from property.!!!!

November 2001

We are doing quite well here in Basingstoke the Council and all the Mast companies have agreed to pre-application discussions with interested residents. There is also to be a brochure issued by the Council, to Mast companies, ie plain English, site notices covered in laminate, all worded in similiar language, no street furniture etc, large letters for those that can't see too well. (the list goes on).

We have been holding meetings with the council and the mast companies separately, however the council appear agitated by this arrangement and now want 3 way discussions. This is what we wanted in the first place!!!  However I am quietly optimistic as to the future way forward. It is interesting to note that the mast companies have told Basingstoke Council that there are no other groups doing the stuff, as predicted the Councillors involved are now basking in the glory of 'what they have achieved, why am I not surprised? As far as I am concerned 2 things acted as a catalyst, the march and the fact that 2 people sat down and talked a lady from BT and a lady from the mast group . The lady from the mast group said to the lady from BT there must be a better way. The lady from BT said I agree things moved from then.

BT have now equipped me with a map of their needs for the next 3 years. The Council wasn't pleased with that. What I hope can be done is that we can look in the various communities at sites which will have minimum impact into the communities.  

October 2001

A public inquiry into agreements made by Hertfordshire County Council with Orange and One-to-One will be called for at the next meeting of the council's Environment Committee.  Herts CC has made an agreement with Orange to allow up to 100 street lamps countywide to be replaced with mobile phone masts, and a similar agreement was reached with One-to-One. The precise details of these agreements, who made them and with what authority are not known to the public. On different occasions Herts CC and Orange have called their agreement "informal" but yet the details are "commercially confidential".

Any item can be put on the Agenda on submission of a petition by 100 Herts residents. 143 signatures were gathered in a few days by Mast Activists from around the county: Abbots Langley, Barnet, Bushey, Chipperfield, Chorleywood, Croxley Green, Goffs Oak, Hemel Hempstead, Maple Cross, Park Street near St Albans, Rickmansworth, Sarratt, St Albans, Watford and Welwyn and Hatfield.

The petition calls for a Public Inquiry into the agreements made between Herts CC and the mobile phone companies and will be presented by a member of the Mast group. The Committee Meeting is at 10:30am, 16th October at the Council Chambers, County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford. The public are invited to attend.

September 2001

Delighted to annouce that on 20th September 2001, Chiltern District Council which controls a strip of land in Chorleywood (which is mostly in Hertfordshire) refused a 15m monopole mast with three two cross polar antennae, two dish and quipment cabin with 2.4 m high fence compound. One 2 One applied for this to be on land opposite a row of houses, on Newhouse Farm Livery Stables, Farm Road. Chiltern DC received 89 letters of objection plus 2 petitions, one of 16 names the other of 230 names. A surprise objector was Three Rivers District Council (in Herts), which the week before approved a 15m BT lamppost mast - the 11th in Chorleywood. Permission refused because site was within Green Belt and the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the mast would be harmful to the visual amenity of this part of the Chilterns and of nearby residential properties.

More good news from Watford. The Watford Observer, 5th October 2001, reports that Watford Council's development control committee on 12 September 2001, rejected an application for a 22.5m mast nearch Bushey and Oxhey station. It would have been behind homes in Grover Road. More than forty letters were received by residents objeting to the plans. Again fears about possible health risks were taken into account when rejecting the mast. Liaison officer for the Oxhey Village Environment Group, Mr Geoff Greenstreet applauded the committee's decision after speaking against the development.

August 2001

*BTCellnet currently have 3 applications within a 5 mile radius near Wimborne - 1 is GPDO under 15m mast(little public consultation there-nearest residents only 25m away-Ward Councillor (Poole) is to raise issue of lack of consultation)+ 2 requiring full planning consent-both causing public concern-East Dorset planners have sought consultant's reports-not open to public inspection until after planning officer's report/recommendation written.

*Strange development with BT mast proposed near me (One2One already operating on site 300m from residential area in Forestry Commission woodland)-1st application refused in Jan.2001 by planning committee -BT lodged 2nd(identical)application 6 months later-with just 1 week to go BT have lodged appeal re. 1st refusal-according to planning officer to show they're serious about this site!-planning committee will have to make 2nd decision,knowing that it's virtually meaningless since it will go to Appeal(by written representation)anyway!

*Spoke to BT Group Property Manager, Peter Foster today (01753-280191)-interesting info.  (1)Contact for BT Airwave info.= David Cairns - will phone me next week re. rollout of TETRA

(2)Network is being developed now to improve capacity, not coverage (only 150 calls may be received at once)+ to give in-house signals (aim = to replace land lines???)

(3)BT seldom uses microwave dishes-links by cable with nearest telephone exchange

(4)Microcell base stations cover 200/300yds(mainly used in urban areas) Macrocell " " cover 2/3 miles(depending on capacity+topography - needed every 400yds in central London)

(5)BT has agreed 10 commitments including database of sites (centralised by Radiocommunications Agency)- delayed by elections!

June 2001

Thought you might to know that we've had a major breakthrough in Totnes. Our planning officers have refused an Orange mast of 11.8 metres on the grounds that there is a 'perceived fear of health risks' from the public. This is after they received over 100 letters and after our march of 300 people

last Saturday week in Totnes. I did give them copies of two appeals which had upheld refusal on health grounds, which might have helped!

April 2001

I am very pleased with a small victory achieved at Cambridge Regional College and wanted to tell people about it.

I am a member of staff and a NATFHE representative there. The management team had more or less made up their minds to allow BT to erect a mast on their land, between 50 and 100m from the College buildings, adjacent to the student car park. The decision had been made mainly on financial grounds because unfortuantely many colleges are very short of funding at the moment.

However they allowed us a stay of execution, so that we could find out more about it. I contacted you and did some very rapid research, in the short time scale that they had given us. I then discussed my objections with them and gave them some of the information that I had collected.

They then changed their minds and decided not to go ahead with it after all. They said that they had reached this decision, because of the strength of feeling of staff, but felt it necessary to emphasise that they did not believe that there was any proof that it could harm peoples health.

The proposed mast was by Orange, and was proposed to be an 8 metre tall post with three antennae on top. This mast was replacing an existing lamp post, and a lamp unit (of a different design) was to have been fixed approximately half way up the new mast.

 *****

January 2001

My apologies for not forwarding on details of our small (but significant) rural victory earlier in the year in a more timely fashion - but, for what's it worth, I am attaching the arguments we presented to the West Dorset District Council back in January 2001 for your archives/records, etc.

I am delighted to report that both the will of the village and commonsense finally prevailed!

The meeting of the Eastern Area Planning Sub-Committee of the West Dorset District Council, held at 2.15pm on Thursday 11th January 2001, refused One-to-One's application to "erect a 13m slimline monopole and antennas and erect equipment cabinet within fenced compound."

This ruling was made in spite of the Planning Officer's recommendation to approve the application!

I was permitted to address the committee (for three minutes only) and confined my remarks to two key issues only:

public concern regarding health issues;

that the proposed mast was to be sited within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (and that as Orange already had a mast across the Cerne Valley from the proposed site in a far less sensitive site on Watcombe Farm, they should be made to share in order to reduce proliferation of these eyesores on our landscape).

The committee (significantly, so far as the health issues were concerned) agreed with me on both points and ruled accordingly.

I do hope this is of some use to you (and others) in your ongoing battle to preserve our countryside!

With very best wishes,

***********

I am pleased to advise you of our recent success. I quote from the letter from East Herts. District Council:-

 ..it was determined to refuse prior approval for the following reason(s):-

 1 The height, appearance and materials of the mast will be out of keeping with and have a detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the residential area within which it is proposed.

 2 The number of letters received from local residents raising concern about the health effects arising from the location of the proposed mast and its microwave antennae, on local residents, children passing daily on the way to school, and within the school itself, indicates a level of public concern such as to override any benefits to be achieved from either increasing the capacity of the local network, or meeting the Government's overall objectives of improving telecommunications.

As we all know all the operators and now Net Rail are abusing the planning legislation and putting up masts and antennae without using the lawful local planning procedures.

They do this through a number of loop holes

  •  Masts erected in Churches without Local Authority planning permission
  •  Network Rail masts
  •  A.2(4)(b) loophole and Deminimus
  •  56 Day - overdue refusals being ignored - separate case now underway

Campaigners through Planning Sanity are in the process of putting together a legal action to challenge all these issues.  So far local groups have not been able to do this because of a lack of resources however as a class action this problem will not be an issue.  

The legal action will be taken forward with a number of named cases from each different category.  However they need as many examples of situations where these loop holes have been used to help the case.  Some of these additional cases will be named as supporting the action, others can remain anonymous.  Its entirely up to each campaign or individual who joins in this.  However the more there are the better the case so please consider joining in this so that finally this appalling and widespread situation can be resolved legally once and for all.  

Groups or individuals may not want to be part of the action at all however if you have experienced any of these loopholes them please send in your details so that they can help with putting the case together.

Please ring the adviceline to register your interest and we will get someone to ring you as soon as possible. 

boycott the following because they regularly put or try to put antennae on their properties in unacceptable locations

SHELL   

Texaco   

McDonalds   

Trusthouse Forte      

NorthWest Gas   

Man Utd FC

Stockport County FC    

Glasgow Celtic FC

Church of England   

Branningans

Witherspoons   

Railtrack   

CofE
       

Please boycott the following organisations because their encouragement of children to use mobile phones

CBBC

David Beckham and related Products