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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 18:28 GMT
Defeat for anti-mast campaigners
Tetra mast protest at Haverfordwest in April
Local people contested the plans because of health fears
A long-running campaign against the erection of a police mast in Pembrokeshire has ended in defeat.

Pembrokeshire councillors refused O2 Airwave permission to build the mast near Haverfordwest last year, but the decision has been overturned on appeal.

Hundreds of local people contested the plans because of health fears. A public inquiry was held in November 2005.

O2 said they were "absolutely delighted" to be given the go-ahead for the 18-metre mast on Uzmaston Road.

The council has made no comment on the decision, but it is understood it will have to pay thousands of pounds in legal fees because it lost the appeal.

Council members said previously they had refused permission because of local fears about the possible health risk.

O2 decided to appeal last year, saying "the overwhelming scientific consensus was that it was unlikely to pose a hazard to health".

Before a decision was reached, Tetra mast equipment was placed at the town's police station as a temporary measure.

Airwave has got what it wants, and the people of Pembrokeshire have to foot the legal bill - it makes a mockery of local democracy
Stephen Crabb MP

A statement from the company following Wednesday's announcement said: "We're obviously absolutely delighted that the planning inspector has come to a very sensible decision.

"We're happy to be able to move our equipment to what was always our preferred site in the Haverfordwest area - which will allow us to carry on providing vital communication coverage to the police and emergency services for the people of Haverfordwest."

But Dympna Pettit, one of the residents involved in the campaign against the mast, claimed that there was no evidence the Tetra masts were safe.

She told BBC Radio Wales: "The reason there's no scientific proof that they're unsafe is because no proper research has been done.

"In terms of how it affects the local residents - I know a lot of people are planning to sell their houses and move, if indeed they're able to do because of course this is now going to affect the saleability of properties."

Stephen Crabb, the MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: "I'm very disappointed with the outcome of the Tetra inquiry.

"Airwave has got what it wants, and the people of Pembrokeshire have to foot the legal bill. It makes a mockery of local democracy."


SEE ALSO:
Inquiry hears police mast appeal
01 Nov 05 |  South West Wales
Hundreds at Tetra protest march
15 Apr 05 |  South West Wales
Mast concern over epileptic pupil
27 Sep 05 |  South West Wales


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