MP joins opposition to massive mast proposal

PUBLISHED: 12:11 01 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

Oliver Heald MP

Oliver Heald MP

OPPOSITION is growing for the erection of a massive 73ft telephone mast in Royston. Royston s MP Oliver Heald gave the protest campaign his support when he met residents from Palace Gardens and Kneesworth Street on Friday evening. Speaking after his discu

OPPOSITION is growing for the erection of a massive 73ft telephone mast in Royston.

Royston's MP Oliver Heald gave the protest campaign his support when he met residents from Palace Gardens and Kneesworth Street on Friday evening.

Speaking after his discussions with residents Mr Heald said: "I hope all residents will join the campaign to stop this environmental damage in the centre of our town."

Waldon Telecom, which is acting for agents for the National Grid Wireless, wants to erect the mast on a site at the Royston telephone exchange.

It said the site had been selected because "it provides the required level of coverage" for mobile phone use.

The erection of the mast would be on the edge of the Royston town centre conservation area and overlook a number of historic buildings.

"I am against the idea of a huge mast being erected in the centre of town.

"This would be destructive to the visual amenity of the centre of Royston as some of our most important buildings would be overshadowed by a high and visually intrusive mast," he said.

National Grid Wireless was given the opportunity this week to answer criticism of the proposal.

But it did complain that the computer generated photograph of the mast created by the protest group did not help in a "rational discussion" on the issue.

Kate Wallace, of the Kneesworth Street Conservation Group, is encouraging people to join the protest.

She has set up an e-mail address at kneesworth.st.conservation@hotmail.co.uk

Royston's county councillor Doug Drake said the erection of the mast would be at the cost to the environment in the area.

In a letter to The Crow he says that the proposal to use the telephone exchange site is showing a "total lack of understanding or concern" about the area.

One Palace Gardens resident, Dr Peter North, called the proposal "an unnecessary and inappropriate development".

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