Farm radio mast in planning ruck

PUBLISHED: 06:34 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:20 24 May 2010

AN AMATEUR radio mast which supports vital emergency services could be pulled down because of a planning dispute. A team of North Somerset radio enthusiasts operate the mast which is also used to help the emergency services in training exercises and as im

AN AMATEUR radio mast which supports vital emergency services could be pulled down because of a planning dispute.A team of North Somerset radio enthusiasts operate the mast which is also used to help the emergency services in training exercises and as important back-up to the police, fire and ambulance radio systems.But a complaint has been made that the mast at Home Farm on top of Backwell Hill near Brockley Combe does not have planning permission so it could be pulled down by enforcement officers.Angry radio enthusiasts have written to North Somerset Council insisting the mast needs to stay and serve the community.John Marks, of Stowey Road, Yatton, has submitted a planning application to the authority to keep the mast up.In a letter to the council he says: "I have been running an amateur radio link from the site of Home Farm for at least five to six years."The site has been used for amateur communications to help with exercises involving the emergency services."The group which runs the site is ready to help at any time with operating a full communications network."Another user says in a letter: "I am appalled to hear there is a risk we may lose our radio antenna site after all its good service. The site is used by many of our blind operators so they can keep in touch and is also used for emergency services exercises on weekends."It would be a huge loss to North Somerset if it was taken down."A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "We discovered the mast does not have planning permission after an investigation by our enforcement officers."The investigation started after we received a complaint from a member of public. We are duty bound to respond accordingly. If it doesn't get planning permission then it could have to be taken down. No date has been set for a decision.

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