Village faces three 30m masts - warning

Mobile phone operator O2 has said it could have to build three masts up to 30 metres high in Colkirk if it is forced to seek an alternative site for one new mast it has proposed.

Mobile phone operator O2 has said it could have to build three masts up to 30 metres high in Colkirk if it is forced to seek an alternative site for one new mast it has proposed.

The mobile phone giant, part of BT, wants to put up a 30-metre mast in the village to replace one it already has there but now has to remove.

But Colkirk Parish Council has objected to the proposed new site, which would have six antennae and six dishes on grain trader H Banham's land near the existing site in Church Road.

They say it would be an eyesore, unscreened like the existing mast, and could devalue their homes.


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But now two alternative sites put forward by objectors have been ruled out by the phone company, according to a report.

And it says if permission is not granted it could impact the Airwave and other services and mean they could have to seek emergency planning permission for three masts.

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In a report to Breckland Council's development control board, meeting on Monday, O2 says Diocese of Norwich-owned land, close to the existing mast, was not an option because the company did not have enough time to negotiate a new site.

O2 says it has to quit its current site and, if it doesn't get the proposed site agreed, would have to seek emergency planning to put up three separate 25-30m high masts to retain network coverage until another site is secured - a process it suggests would be lengthy.

It said the other site put forward, at a police tower near the village, would be too far away and would result in loss of coverage for O2, BT and Airwave, which serves the police, and others - which they are required by licence to provide.

In their report to the board, officers said that although there was no technical obstacle to putting the mast on church-owned land, “on balance the submitted scheme meets the requirements of the relevant planning policies” and say it should be approved.

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