In advance for proposals to erect 4G masts to provide broadband connections, to be considered by Swindon Council’s planning committee on Tuesday 9 February, North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has issued an unequivocal statement explaining why the the committee should reject the plans.
He writes: I am completely opposed to the 4g scheme which is being brought forward by UK Broadband. I would like to see the contract cancelled and the money re-allocated to the provision of a fibre solution.
There are several reasons why this scheme is wrong and will undoubtedly fail; something which I have raised with Swindon Borough Council countless times over the past 9 months.
However tonight is purely about rejecting the inappropriate locations of the 50 foot masts. Should this scheme proceed, regardless of the will of residents, councillors and myself, then the masts need to move to more appropriate locations.
There is one main reason to refuse this prior approval. That is that the masts are inappropriately sited owing to the size and scale of the masts, the proximity of both local schools and local children’s play areas, as well as the removal of vital green and open space.
As an MP, I have always fought for local people to have their say on local planning. This is why the Government introduced local plans across the country – so that local authorities could consult with residents and approve a plan for development that works for the entire community.
Building these masts in these locations would completely undermine the aims and objectives laid out in Swindon Borough Council’s local plan – something which this planning committee worked hard to gain cross-party approval for and which is leading the way as a shining example for local authorities across the Country.
Planning applications have to abide by policies outlined in the local plan, that way they have the support of the local community. This prior approval does not stick to certain policies within the local plan and therefore does not meet the development requirements approved by the local community.
So whilst I am 100% opposed to the outdated 4g scheme, as I believe North Swindon residents deserve nothing less than fibre, I would urge the committee to consider the prior approvals in front of them and reject them on the basis that they fly in the face of this committee’s local plan. I would urge members not to undermine a plan which has been championed in Parliament and more importantly, has been endorsed by the local community.
Residents from North Swindon are planning to protest at the Civic Offices before the planning committee and will be presenting arguments against the 4G masts in public question time before the meeting.
Pictured top: protesting at one of the proposed sites for the UKB 4G masts in Priory Vale, from left, Cllr Mary Friend, Labour candidate Rob Heath, Priory Vale resident Harriet Maltby, Cllr Vera Tomlinson with protesting residents
On North Swindon and rural areas broadband on Facebook
Damon Bower writes:
This morning (9 February) I met some very good people from a small company called BT Openreach who work in a department called Fibre to the Premises. This included the director of the department. As of next week they are installing fibre to the house in Mayfly Road, Boatman Close and Minnow Close (in the top left corner of Priory Vale, next to Tadpole Lane).
Well what does this mean? This fibre is able to deliver up to 1Gbps as it is going straight to the fat pipe. This is a trial and as long as uptake is good it will then rapidly roll out to the rest of Oakhurst, Redhouse and Haydon End they will also mop up the areas left in TawHill.
Here is the best bit NO ROADS being dug up as unlike UKBs claim BT can and will use the existing ducting to the houses. They plan to have the 150 trial houses fibre ready within the month.
So this is a major development that is ongoing and is also a big game changer.