A FATHER-OF-THREE is unhappy after a 17.5 metre mobile phone mast was erected outside his house “with little warning” – obscuring the views from his children’s bedrooms.
Andrew Baxter, who lives in Stratton, Cirencester, with his wife Georgina and their three young children, said he felt “violated” after the Vodafone mast appeared next to his home, though Cotswold District Council (CDC) have said no rules have been broken.
“Basically, I feel a bit violated,” said Andrew.
“The kids’ bedrooms used to look out over trees and fields but now the mast is there.
“I know that officially there is no proof that these things affect your health but that is no consolation,” he said.
“I'm quite frankly more worried about my mental health at this stage – it dominates my thoughts at the moment.”
Andrew said he has contacted CDC to see if there is anything that it can do as he looks to challenge the situation.
However, a spokesman for CDC told the Standard: "We can confirm that the works were carried out under the operator’s permitted development rights."
In November last year, Vodafone applied to CDC for planning permission to erect the mast and radio equipment cabinets but were told by planning officer Ben Bendall that such a scheme does not require "planning permission or prior notification".
"I can confirm that your proposal complies with Part 16 of Schedule 2 of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 and does not require the benefit of planning permission or prior notification," he wrote.
"Therefore, you may proceed with the installation of the electronic communication apparatus as shown in the submitted drawings and photographs without delay."
Andrew said he “heard rumours” from his neighbours that something might be going up a couple of weeks before workmen arrived outside his house last week.
“I just assumed, if the rumours were true, that hopefully it would be something quite small,” he said.
“I can’t see how they can do that without letting residents know first. What are my rights in this situation?”
“It doesn’t feel right.”
Andrew and Georgina moved to Stratton from Newbury three years ago with their children, Lucy, 10, Florence, seven, and Jack, four, “for a better lifestyle”.
“This has certainly put a dampener on that,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: "We consulted with the local planning authority, parish council, ward councillors and the local MP in October 2016.
"We also wrote to the nearby school and to the Stratton Association.
"The new mast will bring improved services to our customers locally," she added.