Council planners urge support for Sedgeford phone mast proposal

Surrounded by Sedgeford residents Lynda Green-smith and Jim Worley (centre) point to the site of the proposed telecommunications mast on the village playing field ANL-150819-145939001
Surrounded by Sedgeford residents Lynda Green-smith and Jim Worley (centre) point to the site of the proposed telecommunications mast on the village playing field ANL-150819-145939001
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Controversial plans to site a near 60 foot phone mast on a village playing field should be given the go-ahead, a planning report has concluded.

Residents in Sedgeford have been divided over the proposals to build the mast on the village’s playing field on Ringstead Road.

But West Norfolk Council planning officers have recommended that the scheme is approved when it is debated by the authority’s planning committee next Monday.

Their report to the committee said: “The public benefits of the proposal outweigh the harm.”

More than 30 residents have written to the council expressing their opposition to the scheme, while a 150-strong petition has also been submitted.

Opponents claim the site is inappropriate for a development they describe as an “eyesore” and say there are better sites available nearby.

They also fear a negative impact on nearby bat habitats and residents’ health.

But supporters say the mast is urgently needed to address long-standing phone and internet connection problems in the village, which has been identified as a so-called “not spot.”

The parish council also backs the application, which is part of a nationwide programme to improve connectivity in rural areas, and claim a large majority of villagers supported the idea in a survey earlier this year. However, critics claimed overwhelming opposition in their own polling.

The committee meeting will take place at the borough council’s offices in Chapel Street, Lynn, next Monday, November 2, from 10am.