Phone company sorry over eyesore mast in Hornchurch

Residents are complaining about this mast. Picture: Google Maps

Residents are complaining about this mast. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A mobile phone company has apologised to Hornchurch residents still living in the shadows of an eyesore mast it was told to remove in March.

Ctil, a joint venture between Vodafone and Telefonica, installed the temporary structure in land off Hacton Lane last year because the previous one on the St George’s Hospital site had to be removed.

But in November the plans to keep it there for another year were refused by Havering Council officers because it was an eye sore.

Ctil appealed to the government’s planning inspectorate but they too rejected it in March.

Despite that, the mast is still, in the words of one resident, “spewing out fumes and causing unacceptable noise”.

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Ctil say they and the council are still looking for a permanent site.

Terry Matthews, of Clement Way, Upminster, was one of the people to oppose the mast being put there.

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He said: “The mast is run by a diesel generator which causes noise pollution for residents and the fumes absolutely stink, especially when there is no wind.

“The fire brigade has been called at regular intervals when passers by think the unit is on fire.”

He added: “Why do laws enforced on normal residents and businesses not apply to those running these companies? Why has Havering Council not taken action, in the courts if necessary, against this company?”

The council said it had received no complaints about the mast but urged residents to report any issues.

Cllr Robert Benham, cabinet member for environment, said: “The operator has been looking for a new site for the mast and is due to submit a new planning application, which we expect to receive shortly.

“We hope this matter will be resolved as soon as possible.”

A Ctil spokeswoman said customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel.

She said: “Without base stations mobile phones would not work. They are low powered devices which cover approximately half a mile, therefore we have to put them close to our customers.

“We are working with the council to develop a permanent site as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience locally.”

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