The Wokingham Paper

17.5 metre-high phone mast approved for Winnersh site despite protest

The 17.5-metre tall mast has been approved for the patch of land next to Bathurst Road, Winnersh.

A PHONE mast met with hordes of objections has been approved for a residential road in Winnersh.

After concerns were raised about the radiation emitted from the mast, local residents gathered to protest the proposal at the Arbor Lane site.

Resident Kirsty Ross who lives in Arbor Lane said that the plans made her “furious”.

“I have three young children, they play in the back garden,” she explained. “The mast will be overlooking them. I have the worry in the back of my mind of health issues are they are growing up. I don’t think that’s fair.

“This is the home we chose 13 years ago to bring up a family and no mast was here. I don’t ever want it to be here. It’s not the right place for it.”

Winnersh Arbor Lane phone mast
Residents, councilors and campaigners come together to protest against plans to build a phone mast at this spot in Arbor Lane, Winnersh Picture: Phil Creighton

At the protest on Saturday, March 7 councillors spoke to Wokingham.Today about the mast being built in a different spot.

Cllr Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey, Lib Dem councillor for Winnersh said: “We’ve found an alternative site, at the back of the Forest School playing field. It would cause less problems for everybody – it’s an area that’s not next to houses, it’s not next to the school.

“It would be a much better site as far as this goes.

“There would be a few lads who are playing on the field there occasionally, but not on a regular basis and not directly under the mast; it wouldn’t be next to the school where the children are actually on a regular basis.”

But despite Winnersh councillors contacting the chairman of BT asking them to move the mast to an alternative site, the plan has been approved by the Borough Council.

In a post on social media, Cllr Prue Bray said: “I have disappointing news I am afraid. The council has approved the application for the phone mast on the corner of Bathurst Road and Arbor Lane.”

Cllr Bray also explained that after reaching out to BT — the parent company to EE — they have not had a reply, and may not get one. 

“EE themselves have not responded to my efforts to contact them,” she added.

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