Residents ask: ‘Why won’t council have phone mast?’

Phone mast in Ilkeston
Phone mast in Ilkeston

Angry residents have demanded answers from Erewash Borough Council after the authority refused permission for a phone mast to be put on one of their buildings.

A temporary phone mast was set up on Field Road in place of one that was on an old Derby College building.

When work began on the site that will become a Morrisons supermarket, the old mast was taken down.

Now mobile phone giant, EE, are preparing to put in a planning application for a permanent mast on the tree lined street.

Kathryn Newbery said: “We want to know why Erewash Borough Council can refuse a mast on a building owned by them before we have even been given a chance to have our say.”

People living on the street all received a document, titled Pre Planning Application Consultation, from an agent on behalf of EE.

They were shocked to discover that more than 20 other potential sites had been identified for the permanent mast and that owners had been given the chance to voice their concerns.

The first site listed was Toll Bar house. Under which the reason for rejection read: “This property is owned by Erewash Borough Council who were not prepared to allow a telecommunications mast installation at this location.

Mrs Newbery added: “No one wants this mast yet we will be the ones stuck with it.”

But Ian Sankey, director of resources and deputy chief executive of Erewash Borough Council, told the Advertiser the building is rented out so they couldn’t give permission.

He said: “Toll Bar House is let to NHS property Services Limited and occupied by the Erewash Clinical Commissioning Group. This means that at the current time Erewash Borough Council is not in a position to lease part of the property to a mobile phone company.

“Another key factor to be taken into consideration is the condition of the roof, which is likely to need recovering within the next five years. This would mean having to remove any equipment at considerable cost to the council.”