TETRA: Say no to an unsafe technologyfind out more information about TETRA

Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire


A 22 metre TETRA mast was erected in School Close, Chandler’s Ford Industrial Estate, without planning permission, in October 2003. Local residents made an enforcement enquiry in January to Eastleigh Borough Council, when it became obvious no application had been sent, and the planning process was set in motion. The mast was actually erected just over the boundary within the Test Valley Council area, and despite queries from at least two councillors to both councils, the planning departments were adamant it was in Eastleigh. The penny finally dropped when they bothered to look at a map in April 2004, and the application was transferred to Test Valley.

Councillors blast Tetra mast

Test Valley refused to take into account the 70-odd objection letters which were sent to Eastleigh, though they were quite happy to use the rest of the paperwork! Residents therefore had to persuade people to write again, and managed a fairly good response, mainly through using a pro forma letter. Only 25 individuals wrote in, as apathy started to set in.

The application finally came before the planning committee last month, and thanks to the hard work of a local councillor (who was ineligible to vote, as he had stated his position against the mast when the application was with Eastleigh), the application was rejected 9 votes to 1. However, this obviously wasn’t the result that the planning office wanted (they had recommended approval until October this year), and luckily for them they had another planning committee to which it could be referred, as ‘perceived health risk’ was one of the grounds for refusal.

Political sympathy was in evidence, though, from MEPs Dr Caroline Lucas and Chris Huhne, along with local MP Sandra Gidley, who all supported the residents’ cause. They and local Councillors all visited the site.

Although the application was for temporary permission, it had earmarked the current location as one of only two possible permanent sites, so one of residents’ main arguments was that O2 Airwave would have no intention of removing the mast in October so the application must be refused now. Unfortunately, they were thrown when they arrived at the meeting to see an update to the paperwork. O2 Airwave had sent a letter stating that the current landowner would not allow this as a permanent site and was now pursuing a possible site share with a nearby Vodaphone mast (no more than 100 metres away – i.e. still too close to residents’ houses).

Unsurprisingly, the vote was lost, as the councillors felt it unnecessary to take enforcement action as the mast would be coming down in less than 3 months anyway (of course O2 Airwave will comply with this!).

If this site share does go ahead, residents will have to deal with Eastleigh Council once again (the local government ombudsman is already investigating them for maladministration), and writing a third objection letter will be more than many people will feel prepared to do. The outcome is uncertain, but residents are looking forward to 30th October when O2 Airwave will be dutifully taking down their mast – won’t they?

 Police mast farce remains unresolved 27 July

 Councillors blast Tetra mast 23 July


 Tetra mast must be taken down! 20 April

 Anti-Tetra campaign gathers momentum 4 May

 Residents vow to fight phone mast application 17 February 2004

TETRA, Chandler's Ford TETRA at Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire. Another illegal mast, due to disappear. Another illegally erected TETRA mast in Hampshire had to be dismantled by O2 Airwave at Home Farm, Hythe, earlier in 2004.

Home    National    TETRA    Science    Links    Localities    Campaign    Contact us