New plans put in for ‘monster’ mast

Phone mast on Field Road in Ilkeston.
Phone mast on Field Road in Ilkeston.

A 30-metre high phone mast which stands in a residential street in Ilkeston could be there to stay, much to the dismay of people living there.

The mast, described as a ‘monstrosity’ by residents of Field Road, was put up in December by communications company EE under emergency powers which had a six month expiration period. It should have either been taken down after that time, or a planning application put in to Erewash Borough Council.

At a public meeting held at Ilkeston Town Hall, head of the council’s planning board, Steve Birkinshaw, told residents that EE had failed to submit a legitimate planning application for a temporary mast in order for it to remain there.

However on August 7 EE submitted an application for a permanent mast in Field Road.

Mr Birkinshaw said: “The temporary application we received had the wrong red line on it which showed the mast on the edge of the box - it’s bananas. We got back to them and asked them to correct it.”

As of yet a valid temporary application has not yet been submitted and enforcement action could be taken against EE. If correct plans are not submitted by the end of the month the case could go to court.

Mr Birkinshaw said that if EE submits the correct plans the council would have to determine that before a notice was served.

A report made by the council found that the visual impact of the mast outweighed the benefit of having the mast there.

Residents of Field Road, which has 13 houses on it, spoke out at the meeting. Hilary Dunlevey said: “The mast is at the bottom of my drive. EE has played us all and has done it beautifully.”

Alan Bowley said: “It’s a monstrosity and something that wasn’t there when we moved in. You can see it from Mars.”

Mr Birkinshaw warned residents that the mast could still be there at Christmas as the planning process was not a fast one. He also said that EE customers would have to be taken into account.

A spokesman for EE told the ‘Tiser last week that every effort had been made to avoid impacting upon ongoing redevelopment works at the existing site, and was seeking to resolve planning issues whilst working closely with the council’s planning officers.