Tower Action Group

Following an unsuccessful planning application by T-Mobile to fit a further 5 x mixed type antennae to the top of Gorsehill Water Tower, an inspector from the DETR (as part of the appeal process by T-mobile) visited the Water Tower on Tuesday 17th February.

The results of his visit will probably be known in the next two weeks.

If the appeal by T-Mobile is successful the number of antennae on the Tower will rise to 25, it will also mean that a third mobile phone company will have a presence on the Tower and that the level of transmissions from this site will increase in proportion, 24 hours per day, 365 days of the year.

This possible 25 x antennae includes 4 fitted without planning permission by United Utilities in May 2003.

The Tower Action Group has been in contact with the relevant Planning Department on a number of occasions but has not been able to get this department to enforce the law to get United Utilities to remove the antennae or seek planning permission to retain the 4 x antennae.

Possibly we are entering a new era where big business have no need to concern themselves with such minor matters as planning permission in order to proceed with whatever they consider to be best for themselves (note this precedent when next you come to contemplate building an extension to your property)

Further to the application by T-Mobile for the need to use the Water Tower it is worth noting that in their own advertising they state that they already have 100% coverage of this area, so is the real issue the drive by all the main players in the Mobile game to fulfil the requirement by the government to acquire an estimated extra 25,000 sites by 2005 in order to comply with the licence regulations?

Tower Action Group

The latest Planning Applications by Hutchison 3G was REFUSED by the Planning Committee on Wednesday 12th November This application proposed to remove 5 x windows from the top level of Gorsehill Water Tower and replace these with Fibreglass and plastic imitations in order to conceal the 3 x antennae and two microwave dishes.

We applaud this decision by the PLANNING COMMITTEE to refuse these applications, they have listened to our pleas, which is more than can be said of Wirral Planning Department who recommended that these applications should be “APPROVED”.

Dr. Ian McConnell in his address to the Planning Committee raised as many important points as possible in the allotted 5 minutes. Questions such as:

A representative from Hutchison 3G also addressed the Planning Committee for 5 minutes, but could not provide a single satisfactory answer to any of the points raised, other than to trot out the usual platitudes about “them” conforming to (very doubtful) international standards.

The question of the combined power/frequencies output of what would finally be 26 antennae (if they succeeded in their applications) was not answered by Hutchison 3G.

Quite apart from the very important health issues raised at the meeting, the fact that a international mobile phone company can even propose the removal of the original windows and frames from one of the finest remaining Grade Two Listed Buildings in New Brighton (at the very moment that we are looking forward to the regeneration of the area) just goes to show how little regard these international telecommunications companies have for local residents The same applies to United Utilities and their shareholders who only stand to gain financially if these plans were approved.

We thank you one and all for your support over the past 3 ½ years and also apologise for the fact that we did not have time to advise you all about the date of the planning meeting.

Jim Moore, on behalf of the “Tower Action Group”.