New protests at phone mast plan as Vodafone appeals

December 29 2017
New protests at phone mast plan as Vodafone appeals

VODAFONE is appealing against the decision to refuse permission for a mobile phone mast on Bath Road, Wells.

The company wanted to site a base station next to the Budgens store, but the application was opposed by local residents, and turned down earlier this year by Mendip District Council.

Campaigners who opposed the original application are now mobilising to fight the appeal.

“We understand that people want a mobile phone signal but they need to be more careful about where they put these,” said Katie Biddiscombe, of Bath Road.

She said that a mast would obscure a ‘School’ warning sign for drivers, while the two cabinets – which would be sited on the pavement – would impede the view of motorists coming out of Budgens, as well as her own coming out of her driveway, and obstruct pedestrians.

“It would have a massive impact on pedestrians using that pavement. It’s an unsuitable place for all the equipment,” she said.

As well as the appeal, Vodafone is going ahead with an application for a similar base station with a 15m-high mast on Whiting Way, after conducting a pre-application consultation, but has dropped plans for one at Strawberry Way.

In a statement the company said: “Vodafone and Telefonica customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel. Base stations are low powered devices which cover approximately half a mile in radius, therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers.

“Vodafone and Telefonica identified that they need to improve the coverage to their customers in Wells and have proposed a number of base stations to provide this service. We are currently working on an application for a base station in Whiting Way, close to the Waitrose car park, and are awaiting the decision on an appeal for a proposed site at Bath Road.

“A previous proposal for a base station at Strawberry Way now no longer fits into our present plans for providing coverage in Wells.”