Hundreds sign up to mast battle

Coun Karen Henshaw with St Annes phone mast petition.
Coun Karen Henshaw with St Annes phone mast petition.

THE fight against a 50ft phone mast in St Annes removed is hotting up, with hundreds signing a petition to have it removed.

The massive structure, at the junction of Highbury Road, Headroomgate and Leach Lane, was installed on behalf of network providers O2 and Vodafone to the horror of residents, who have described it as a ‘an ugly, unwanted scar’.

Coun Karen Henshaw, who lives across the road from it, has since taken on the battle to remove the mast, in the wake of health fears and concerns that it impacts upon the Victorian character of the largely residential area.

The petition, launched last weekend, has stirred up huge interest from many of the locals in the surrounding area, as Coun Henshaw takes to the streets of St Annes to gain signatures.

She said: “We have had a lot of interest from many residents. Myself and resident Danielle Collings, whose husband Scott first raised concerns, have been visiting houses in the area and people keep on signing the petition.

“It just goes to show that locals were not properly consulted.

“We are not going to back down - we are going to continue to fight for this ugly structure to be removed from our area.”

The Co-operative convenience store situated just metres from the mast has also taken on the petition, encouraging shoppers to sign up as they pay for their goods.”

A spokesperson for The Co-operative said: “As a community retailer, the opinions of our customers are valued highly. Due to the local sensitivity around this issue, we agreed to offer local people the chance to have their say.

“We had around 150 signatures within 48 hours of introducing the petition in our Headroomgate store.”

Meanwhile, a second application has been made for another phone mast to be installed under a mile away within the grounds of a garage at St Leonards Road bridge.

St Annes Town Council’s planning committee, which raised no objections to the Leach Lane mast when that went before them earlier this year, are due to discuss it at their next meeting.

But applicants Ericsson have been quick to assure residents that the proposed new mast will be shorter, at 11.7 metres rather than 16, than an existing one a few yards away, which it is intended to replace.