Barely a month back into representing Horsell West and I came home to a letter I did not want to receive. The communication was from a company representing Vodafone. They were writing as a 'pre-consultation' on plans to share an existing phone mast in Horsell Way with 02. This would involve a larger mast, with antennae and more ground equipment.
Long-standing residents will recall the lengthy campaign fought by local people to reject Horsell Way as a mast site. There was a huge response from residents to an initial pre-application consultation, to the planning application (which was rejected by Woking Council) and to request that Vodafone’s appeal went to a public inquiry. The public case was very strongly put at public inquiry. Despite all of this the application was allowed on appeal. Now Vodafone are back and looking to add to resident' misery.
On receipt of the letter I immediately notified immediate neighbours, those involved in the previous application and Horsell Residents Association about the consultation. A local resident circulated details to those in the closest parts of High Street, including Cromar Court; Horsell Way and Nursery Close.
I have also spoken with the person from the Council who was very much involved in the previous application.
Our response points out to the mobile operators that there is an alternative site, provided by Horsell Common Preservation Society, in a location outside what is considered the 'danger zone' and urging Vodafone and 02 to use this site which can accommodate a number of operators.
I will continue to work with the Council to encourage operators to move to the new site. We must now be on the lookout for the inevitable planning application that is likely to follow this consultation. Going by previous mast appplications it is likely to be submitted in late July or in August. Operators like to wait until much of the population are away on holiday, presumably in the hope the application will not be noticed.