Plans for radio mast stall

Victoria NichollsNETWORK Rail has vowed to put action on hold following a dispute over plans to put up a 20m radio mast in a Waveney village.The company's plans to upgrade its current radio system across the UK involve putting up communications masts at certain locations to give 100pc coverage.Victoria Nicholls

NETWORK Rail has vowed to put action on hold following a dispute over plans to put up a 20m radio mast in a Waveney village.

The company's plans to upgrade its current radio system across the UK involve putting up communications masts at certain locations to give 100pc coverage.

Residents from Barnby, were angered to receive letters last month informing them a mast could go up in the village within weeks, and to discover that the company did not have to apply for planning permission because of its permitted development rights.

Following a meeting between Network Rail, neighbours, and Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, resident Ian Bond, said: 'We welcome the fact that they suspended all work until they come back with options, though actually what that means in real terms is another matter.'


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Mr Bond said the issue was due to be raised at a parish council meeting this week and said he hoped the council would take up the matter, adding: 'We hope that they and Waveney District Council will look at this to see whether it should be pursued further. In our view it should.'

Mr Blizzard, who had accused Network Rail of ignoring villagers' concerns about the visual impact, among other issues, said: 'Most important of all Network Rail have agreed to put everything on hold until they have had a consultation, and meaningful consultation with the residents. We've got back to where we should have been before.'

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Mr Blizzard said the residents should not be the 'last in line', adding: 'What was agreed was they will come back with other solutions that will work technically.'

He said that although new options could fall foul of planning policies or not be acceptable to other bodies, he would be prepared to speak up for the residents.

A Network Rail spokesman confirmed that the site was on hold until the consultation process was concluded.

He said: 'We are providing the technical detail both to let residents and Bob Blizzard know why we have discounted certain sites and the constraints we are under, and also to provide them with an opportunity to offer solutions that they may feel would overcome some of the issues.

'In many instances these will be unworkable due to the constraints of our search criteria, but we're willing to look at any and all suggestions.'

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