Norwich campaigners fight off O2 and Vodafone phone mast plans

Campaigners are celebrating a double victory after fighting off two phone masts in the area where they live.

More than 170 people signed a petition against O2 and Vodafone's plans for a 14.8m tower with antennas outside the Shoemaker Pub at the Earlham West Centre in Norwich and a 15m one outside Earlham Police Station in Earlham Road.

The plans have now been rejected by planning officers before going to Norwich City Council's planning committee.

The community has successfully battled against at least 15 phone mast applications and appeals proposed for the neighbourhood.

Sarah Grenville, a member of the Labour team for the university ward who led the latest campaign, said: 'The stopping of the two extra big masts was a double-double success because the decision did not need to go to committee.

'The really positive message to come from this is that because we've been campaigning about various sites since 2003, and winning.

It's got to the point where the planners are turning down any plans because of the history.'

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Over the past decade, people living in the area have fought off plans for phone masts in The Avenues, outside Colman Hospital in Unthank Road and in Earlham Green Lane.

On this occasion, they argued that the two proposed masts and their associated cupboards would be too big for the area.

A City Hall spokesman said: 'These two masts have both been refused by planning officers under delegated powers, on the grounds that their height and siting would have an unacceptable level of impact in a residential area.'

O2 spokesman James Stephenson said the company would probably appeal against the decision.

There has been a spate of phone mast planning applications around the city, because of the increasing usage of mobile phones and smart phones.

Are you fighting a planning application in the area where you live? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email