Friday, 3 April 2009

Last few days to object to latest mast in Phone Mast Alley

Giving phone masts the bird

You only have a few days left to object to Vodafone’s appeal to put yet another phone mast on Rodford Way, just yards from the existing O2 mast.

Bad news - the closing date is next Wed, 8 April. Good news – you can now do it online. Here's how.

First write out your objection. Write a letter with this reference on it:
Case APP/P0119/A/09/2098204

They know the site as “Highway Land Junction of Rodford Way and Shire Way, Yate

Possible grounds for objection include
(a) Overdevelopment – the cumulative impact of FOUR masts in such a short distance – Merlin Way and Harescombe (approved sites), Blaisdon (existing O2 mast) and this new Blaisdon one.
(b) Lack of demonstrated need – Vodafone have only done a desktop exercise – so far as we know they haven’t done any measurements on site. Other sites like Shire Way Community Centre might still be viable.
(c) Network mergers – Vodafone and O2 have just announced that they will be combining their network infrastructure. So why would Vodafone now need a mast next to O2’s?
(d) Lack of consultation – Vodafone did not follow the process they are supposed to – involving local councillors and groups. Even when they did finally meet councillors and other sites were suggested, they paid no attention and just put in an appeal for the same site.

Please use your own words rather than just copying and pasting – standard letters carry less weight. Save your objection letter as a .doc file (Word 2003 – the Planning Inspectorate doesn’t “do” Word 2007’s .docx format!)

Now go to this website:

At the bottom, it says “Click here to view the documents for this case, and to access facilities to Comment” – click on the link.

On the next screen, click on the FIRST "Comment on this case" link (the second one is for Local Planning Authority use)

Under “Your details” select “Interested Party/Person” and “No” (unless you’ve done this before).

Continue to the screens where you put in your details and upload your letter.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds, honest!

Please send in your comments as soon as possible. We believe we have a real chance of getting this one refused. Your help is vital.


  1. a) I've seen roads with 5 masts on them. 4 is nothing. Major through roads are preferred as a large number of households (cows don't need phone signal) are circulated around them. They also have easy access for repair, and blend in with the street scene (lampposts).
    b) still "might" be viable... (in other words you don't even know).
    c) Vodafone and O2 are ONLY sharing power supplies and cabins, they are NOT merging. If the current O2 mast is a big framed structure with a fence around it, then they could possible share this site (although new aerials would be required). If the O2 site is like the picture in your post then Vodafone will need their own pole.
    d) They have listen to you, looked at other sites and still come to the conclusion that the BEST location that they can get access to which will give the BEST signal for their customers is the one they are appealing for.

  2. Thanks Ryan. I know that you work in the mobile phone industry, but you don't know the particular site. The proposal is for a second mast directly in front of the same short rank of houses.

    Like you I've heard the suggestion that Vodafone and O2 are only sharing power supplies and cabinets. However this is NOT what the public announcements from both companies say.

    Vodafone's own press release says:

    "The joint building of new sites and/or consolidation of existing 2G and 3G mast sites, with one site housing the equipment of both companies where previously two would have been used, is expected to lead to a significant reduction in the total number of masts in operation and reduced environmental impact, compared to both companies expanding their networks separately.... In the UK and Ireland, the elements of the network to be shared include: masts, antennas, sites, cabinets and power supply"

    O2's press release is similar:

    "Where opportunities exist, long-term cost and operational efficiencies will be realised through jointly building new sites and consolidating existing masts and antennas.... UK: Both companies to focus on joint build of new sites and consolidation of existing 2G and 3G sites"

    So both companies are quite clearly talking about mast sharing - or their announcements are both misleading.

    Further, it is extremely unlikely that Vodafone's mast location is critical within a short distance, even if their desktop survey is accurate. We asked them to investigate specific alternative locations, but they didn't.

    By your logic, whatever the mobile phone companies judge is best for coverage should happen. Sorry, but there's such a thing as community, and the mobile companies do not have the ultimate right to decide this issue.

  3. Paul, ignore the corperate spin and have a read on The Register for whats really going on with the "site sharing".
    The biggest problem is that the 2100mhz 3G frequency has less penatration than the old 900mhz 2G network.
    This is the reason why Vodafone currenty are installing more than ten new "poles" in Lincoln alone.
    Mast pose no risks to people however the "fear" is why the neighbours are against them and you as someone looking for votes agrees.

  4. Yes, I've read the coverage in the Register. But if the Register is right, Vodafone's and O2's public announcements are misleading, to put it charitably.

  5. "Further, it is extremely unlikely that Vodafone's mast location is critical within a short distance, even if their desktop survey is accurate. We asked them to investigate specific alternative locations, but they didn't."

    This is a blantent lie. Having read the appeal submittion it clearly states that they have explored ALL the examples in the original refusual including the community centre which is too far south to provide the full coverage required.

  6. Please read things carefully before you say that something is a lie.

    I said "We asked them to investigate specific alternative locations, but they didn't" - this was at a meeting between the original submission and the appeal. They did not consider the locations we suggested at the meeting.

    In the words of the old newspaper columns, this correspondence is now closed as I feel that references to "lies" comes close to being abusive.