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Taverham woman pledges to leave her home of over 45 years if phone mast gets the go-ahead

Residents opposed to a phone mast in Springfield Road, Taverham. Anne Nygren and the electricity sub station beside her house.
Photo: Bill Smith

Residents opposed to a phone mast in Springfield Road, Taverham. Anne Nygren and the electricity sub station beside her house. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

A Taverham woman is so upset about a proposal for a new phone mast that she says she could be driven out of her home of more than 45 years.

Anne Nygren, 66, says the phone mast would leave her bungalow, on the corner of Springfield Road and Fakenham Road, sandwiched between it and an electricity sub-station.

Miss Nygren, the ex-wife of former Norwich Stars speedway rider Olle Nygren, said: “I wouldn’t be able to stay here. A few years ago I used to suffer from the most horrendous migraines. That doesn’t happen any more but I couldn’t just sit here and wait for that to start happening again.”

The application was lodged by Everything Everywhere, which runs mobile providers Orange and T-Mobile, and the 3 network. It is for a 12ft high mast, along with three antennas and an equipment cupboard at its base.

Broadland District Council has no grounds on which to reject the ‘application for prior approval’ as the government’s stance is that phone masts are needed to meet public demand for phone signal.

Phone masts are designated as ‘permitted development’ nationally, so don’t need planning permission, and local councils are not allowed to refuse ‘prior approval’ because of health concerns – as long as the applicant proves the mast complies with World Health Organisation guidelines.

However, an objection was lodged at a meeting of Taverham Parish Council’s planning committee on Monday night, with around 20 people attending the meeting.

The planning committee’s chairman, John Pennells, said: “I’m quite sure there are better places where this can be put that wouldn’t come in to contact with people as much.

“It would seem the first things these companies look for is where the closes electricity supply is, and that is what has happened here.”

Miss Nygren has been photocopying the planning notice posted by the district council and posting through her neighbours’ letter boxes to try and garner support.

She is asking people to help her in her fight by also lodging an objection, before the deadline of next Thursday.

She added: “I’m in my 60s and now I’m well out of my depth because a lot of this I don’t understand.

“The health impact is my prior concern but of course this will depreciate the value of my property as well.

“So it’s what I’m calling spectacularly bad positioning.”

The phone mast would also be within a quarter of a mile of a proposed 15m phone mast for Vodafone and 02, on the corner of Sandy Lane and Fakenham Road, which has also been campaigned against by local residents.

Miss Nygren has been backed by several of her neighbours, including Peter and Mary Westrup, who have also sent a letter of objection, saying they believe the mast will be “visually intrusive” and also citing their health concerns.

The applicant for the phone mast, Everything Everywhere, declined to comment on the situation while the 21-day objection period is still valid.

Has your community been angered by a planning application? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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