Taverham residents campaign against phone mast

A community is campaigning against a telephone mast which would be an 'eyesore' in their village.

The application was made by Vodafone and 02 to erect a 15 metre 3G telephone mast on Fakenham Road in Taverham near the junction of Sandy Lane.

A campaign group, Taverham Against Inappropriate Masts (TAIM) has formed in opposition to the proposed mast and 260 people have signed a petition against it.

TAIM member Janet Shurety, 66, of Camp Road, Taverham, said: 'We are not against telephone masts on the whole. The proposed one is near a busy crossing and it could get cluttered. A telephone mast would look completely out of character and be an eyesore.

'It is going to be 15 metres high, almost a third higher than an existing lamp post. So many people are upset about it.'

There were also concerns about the mast being too close to the nearby oak tree.

'The oak tree is about 250 years old and its roots could go as far across as 18 metres,' Mrs Shurety said.

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Residents were also concerned that the value of their homes would decrease.

In a letter to Broadland District Council from WFS Telecom, the agent representing the proposal, said: 'The proposed mast and antennas will not make any noise.

'There are no legal or planning obligations requiring that any base station development be located a certain distance from any type of property.'

They added: 'The issue of rising and falling property being a complicated matter and not one that can be attributed to any single factor.

'There is no documented evidence to suggest that a base station site has any impact on property value.'

A public meeting is being held to discuss the plans at Taverham Village Hall at 7.30pm on Monday.

TAIM members were also concerned that the mast would become a hot spot for graffiti.

WFS Telecom said: 'We can confirm to the local community that the operators will endeavour to maintain this facility as best they can.'

Has your community started a campaign? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk.