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Burton Green Up In Arms Over Phone Mast

Villagers are playing a waiting game with a phone company and Severn Trent to block the installation of a mobile phone mast.

The whole of Burton Green spent the weekend, writing, phoning, faxing and e-mailing Severn Trent boss Brian Duckworth.

They are urging the company to u-turn on its plan to allow a water tower near Cromwell Lane to be used to improve mobile phone reception.

One2One wants to put new antennae on the Tile Hill water tower. Locals say the application to Warwick District Council for the equipment cabinets to power the aerials was flawed - it named the wrong water tower and incorrectly said there were no homes nearby.

There was a public meeting on Thursday and villagers have vowed to carry on the fight. They see the planning battle as lost and are turning their efforts against the water company which owns the tower.

There are health fears with a nursery nearby plus fears for individuals who have a pacemaker and epilepsy.

Campaigner Carolyn O’Neill who runs a cattery close to the water tower said:

“The restrictions in eastern Europe are stonger than they are here. The local councils’ hands are tied, as the Government seems to have given these phone companies the power to do what they like.

“We had a good meeting last weekend and we have a lot of support. There are banners around the site and there is a car blocking the road in – and it is staying there!

“We are looking really to Severn Trent. Brian Duckworth has probably received more mail and calls this weekend than he has for a long time.

“It is just a waiting game now – but we are not giving up.”

A farmer in Benson Green Lane has offered One2One the chance to look at a disused power pylon on his land. That would mean the tower would be nearly a mile from the village – but on higher ground, which should improve reception.

The phone company ruled out a previous suggestion of the Powergen mast in Hodgetts Lane saying it would not give as good coverage as the water tower site. Villagers say by adding an extra nine-metre tower to that location should solve the problem, but One2One has written to councillors saying work would begin this week.

But villagers think otherwise. A car has been placed in the driveway to the site, meaning access is almost impossible for the workmen.

A previous barricade made the company postpone its plans a month ago and villagers say they will not give in.

They praise the efforts of their MP Andy King (Lab, Rugby and Kenilworth) and district councillor Bertie Mackay (Ind, Stoneleigh) for their efforts to broker a deal. But the stalemate continues.
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CWN / Business / A-ZSevern Trent / 27 Jun 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM