Efforts to stop Vodafone building a Bournville telephone mast on the corner of Heath Road and Hawthorne Road have stalled after an alternative location could not be agreed. Steve McCabe MP and local Councillors Liz Clements and Fred Grindrod vow to continue the fight to stop the mast.
At the start of the year Vodafone submitted a planning application to erect a 17.5m tall mobile phone mast at the corner of Heath Road and Hawthorn Road in the heart of Bournville.
The application met with huge local opposition from residents who were concerned that they had not been properly consulted and a petition with over three hundred objections was organised by local councillor Liz Clements. Birmingham City Council’s Planning Departed refused the application on 22 February. However, Vodafone’s Agent CTIL challenged this decision on a technicality and it was subsequently overturned and granted planning permission by default in May.
After pressure from MP Steve McCabe and local councillors Liz Clements and Fred Grindrod, Vodafone’s agent CTIL agreed to put a hold on any construction in order to consult with Bournville Village Trust and the local the community to try and find a more suitable alternative location.
Despite the best efforts of Cllr Liz Clements to explore further options, including looking at housing the mast on Rowheath Pavilion and bringing key stakeholders around the table, it looks as though a suitable location could not be agreed and it now appears Vodafone are set to continue with their original plan.
Steve McCabe MP said:
“I acknowledge Vodafone and their agents have made some effort to listen to proposals for alternative locations but this doesn’t mean they should simply go ahead with their plans anyway. I would still welcome a chance to talk directly with Vodafone and am very disappointed that their Chief Executive hasn’t even had courtesy to reply to my letter. We all recognise the need for improved communications infrastructure but it feels like these companies are being given free range to ride roughshod over the concerns of local residents. The fight goes on to stop the Bournville mast.”
Cllr Liz Clemens said:
“I’m extremely disappointed that efforts to identify a viable alternative location have stalled. After being let down by the Planning Department local campaigners have come together to look at alternative ways of accommodating this mast and it’s a real shame that the voices of residents and their local representatives seem to count for so little in the planning process.’