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Proposed Huge Mobile Phone Mast Angers Residents

2nd of December 2000

A planning application has been submitted to Dacorum Borough Council by the mobile operator ‘One 2 One for an enormous transmitter mast to be sited in picturesque Scatterdells Wood. The proposed mast is 22.5m high to enable it to protrude well above the tree line (the average 2 storey house is 5m to the eaves). Many residents across the north-eastern half of the village are angered and upset by what they regard as an unnecessary eyesore and are worried by the potential health hazard. LANDSCAPE DAMAGE. Scatterdells is an outstanding unspoilt piece of woodland. Although the wood is predominantly broadleaf, the proposed mast is in the 20 year old larch plantation due for felling in the near future. Construction and maintenance access will be from Barnes Lane cutting a swathe from top to bottom felling numerous trees. Situated on high ground, the mast will dominate the landscape from every direction and be visible for miles around. In addition, there will be a large cabin compound needing further trees to be felled.
NOT NECESSARY The four major mobile networks are supposed to be cooperating by sharing masts with each other. Why cant One 2 One share a mast with an operator who has acceptable coverage in Chipperfield achieved with a less obtrusive mast?
HEALTH CONCERNS Earlier this year the government published the Stewart Report on mobile phone safety. In essence, this said that the jury is still out and that the authorities should take a precautionary approach to mobile phone development, particularly where children are concerned. (Remember that asbestos, smoking, thalidomide and BSE were all once considered to offer ‘no risk to health). Other countries take a more stringent approach than the UK and do not permit powerful masts like this within 500m of dwellings in rural areas. Many houses in Chipperfield are much closer to the mast than 500m.
“NOBODY WANTS IT” Many residents have already signed a petition organised by Scatterdells Lane resident Peggy Harpley. Already with hundreds of signatures ‘not one person has declined to sign.
PARISH COUNCIL OBJECTS – you can too! Although the Parish Council has no planning powers, its opinion is sought by Dacorum on all applications in the village. The Parish Council has decided to object to the plans. This means that the proposal must go before the full Development Control Committee at Dacorum Council. This gives the residents of Chipperfield the opportunity to have their views taken into account. This is best by individual letter to the Chief Planning Officer at Dacorum Borough Council and separate letters to District Councillors of the Development Control Committee (addresses from www.dacorum.gov.uk). Do not delay, write today quoting ref 4/1917/00 citing your reasons for objecting including: loss of visual amenity – irreversible loss of landscape – inappropriate development in wildlife status woodland – long term health risks.
If enough letters are sent, Chipperfield residents can succeed just like Watford residents on the Cassiobury estate who, last month, effectively lobbied their Councillors resulting in a refusal for two Orange masts. (For further information including the text of their letters of objection at www.cassiobury.org).
Chipperfield Mast Objectors

 
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