End in sight to mast saga

AT least a dozen alternatives sites were rejected in Wisbech before the Anglian Water Pumping Station in Lynn Road was chosen for a new mobile phone mast. A consultants report published this week says the 17.5 metre (57ft) high mast – to be built by Hutc

AT least a dozen alternatives sites were rejected in Wisbech before the Anglian Water Pumping Station in Lynn Road was chosen for a new mobile phone mast.

A consultants' report published this week says the 17.5 metre (57ft) high mast - to be built by Hutchinson 3G - is vital to enable the town to make full use of the new generation of mobile technologies.

The report says the installation will provide coverage to the north-east of Wisbech and that local planning officials agree "the proposed site appeared to be the most suitable location".

If approved by Fenland District Council the application will bring to an end a long running battle by Hutchinson to build a mast in the Wisbech area.


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The company says local councillors have not responded to their pre-application consultation, and schools have not contacted since none operate within 250 metres of the proposed site.

Hutchinson says conservation and environmental issues influenced their search for a site, as well as the feasibility of the acquisition, building and maintenance of the equipment.

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Those areas of town rejected include Mount Pleasant Road, Waterlees Road, the North Cambs Hospital rooftop, Premier Foods (the company wasn't interested), Mount Pleasant Road cemetery, Orchard Croft School (considered not suitable), Wisbech Football Club (land sold for housing), Wisbech Park, and roads in and around Tinkers Drive.

Hutchinson says their latest proposals "follow a comprehensive search for suitable sites. This failed to find any more suitable site capable of meeting the coverage requirement".

On health issues, Hutchinson claims five independent reviews have concluded that there is no general risk to people living near base stations.

The company says it is obliged, by the end of this year, to install, maintain and provide third generation service to four fifths of the population.

Fenland Council is now considering their application.

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