Sunday, February 18, 2007

Compensation for phone mast blunder

Compensation for phone mast blunder
Families living near a mobile phone mast have been awarded £117,000 in compensation.

Seven families will get between £10,000 and £20,000 depending on their proximity to the 20ft telecoms mast in Swindon.

Swindon Borough Council was ordered to pay the compensation after its planners failed to object to the One2One mast within the necessary 28 days due to an administration error.

The award is thought to the first of its kind.

Local Government Ombudsman Jerry White found the council guilty of maladministration causing injustice and has ordered the payment of compensation for the loss in value of the homes affected.

But most families said they would much rather the mast was removed.

This was our ideal home, but from our back garden and my daughter's bedroom all you can see is this mast
Melanie Hall, resident
Melanie Hall, one of six residents to bring the complaint against the council, said: "It should not have gone ahead in the first place, it's a residential area.

"This was our ideal home, but from our back garden and my daughter's bedroom all you can see is this mast.

"The compensation doesn't mean much to us really, ideally we wanted the mast to come down."

A spokeswoman said Swindon Borough Council had apologised to the families for the error - which was caused by the application being put on the wrong pile of paperwork.

This delay meant One2One - now named T-mobile - could put the mast up even though planners had objected.

Council chief executive Simon Birch said: "The council has accepted the ombudsman's findings in full and has offered affected householders compensation.

"The council has introduced new procedures for dealing with future applications for telecommunications development to prevent this maladministration happening again."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2003/05/19 16:22:57 GMT



Post a Comment

<< Home