Victory for ‘good guy’ in mobile phone mast rowBy Hugh Fort
July 04, 2012
A man who faced the prospect of a mobile phone mast being built on the edge of his property is celebrating after winning a 10-month battle to prove he owns the land.
Alan Beech, of New Wokingham Road in Crowthorne, faced having the mast “six inches” from his property after plans were issued by Telefonica and Vodafone for a 12.5-metre high mast at the junction of Dukes Ride and New Wokingham Road.
However, he insisted it could not go ahead because the land was his, not public land as first thought.
Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee threw out the plans in October for its potential effect on traffic in the area, as well as its impact on the street scene.
The phone giants appealed the council’s decision and in December Alan was horrified to find out a blunder by the council’s planning department meant the mast could be built after all.
The council did not give “prior approval” to the plans. Telecommunications law insists authorities must state the principle of development is not an issue, before location and appearance is debate.
As a result, the mast could have been built.
However, Alan has spent “many hours” looking at deeds and documents and finally managed to prove he does own the land.
He has had to review documents more than 100 years old to get the result he wanted.
He said: “The Land Registry has redrawn the boundaries of my property to show that the corner that Telefonica wanted to build on was mine and has been mine all along.
“This was based on 26 sets of deeds dating from 1901 when the land was part of the Red House on Waterloo Road.
“So it’s a straightforward win for the good guys, even if it has taken 10 months of effort and worry.”
A spokeswoman for Telefonica said: “Vodafone and O2 have identified that we need to improve the 3G coverage to our customers in Crowthorne.
“We are presently investigating various options in this area and will be liaising with the local planning authority over suitable alternatives.”