The Giant Orange Mast Victory
The area to the south-east of the River Mole in East Molesey, roughly Molesey Park Road to Imber Court, has been targeted by three telecommunications companies aiming to erect 15-metre mobile phone masts.
Orange, in particular, was keen to put up such masts near Aldersgrove and adjacent to Ember Lane near Imber Court.
Following fierce local opposition to these proposals, Orange changed tack and stated that if it could put up one very tall mast (i.e. 30-metres) it would obviate the need for smaller masts in a fairly wide local area.
The local community, with one notable exception, saw the commonsense in this proposal – and when the Metropolitan Police Authorities agreed to the siting of the 30-metre mast at the northern edge of their playing fields those local residents set up a vigorous supportive campaign.
Literally hundreds of people became involved in petitions, putting literature through letter boxes and harassing the Elmbridge Planning Department.
Having been involved in the opposition to the Aldersgrove and Ember Lane proposals, Molesey Residents Association considered the matter and became convinced of the sense of the new proposals and, led by MRA Cllr. Nigel Cooper, resolved to vote in favour of the tall mast at the Planning Committee meeting.
The result was that, at the meeting of the Elmbridge Planning Committee on13th March 2006, permission was given for the erection of the tall mast. That permission was granted subject to Orange agreeing to allow other companies to use its mast. In fact, any company wanting to put up a nearby 15-metre mast must seek to use the 30-metre mast unless there are significant technical reasons why it would not be feasible to do so.
The mast is tall – it will be seen from many parts of the Cow Common area – but it is probably on the best site to give the least visual impact from that lovely area.
Congratulations to all those many dedicated and enthusiastic local residents who, over many months, worked so hard to ensure the success of the campaign.
Nigel Cooper, MRA Councillor for Molesey East.