High Court Judge backs Council on Rosslyn Park mast

Local objectors to the mobile phone mast at Rosslyn Park had cause for celebration as a judge overruled and inspector's decision in favour of the mast. He decided Council planners were right to tell a mobile phone company to pull down the over-sized mast which was 2 metres over the llimit.

Mr Justice Sullivan found that a government inspector had been wrong to uphold an appeal by O2 after the council had ordered the mast's removal. The inspector had concluded that the council was prevented from taking action because it had let the mast go ahead in the first place. In accepting this ruling the secretary of state had also erred.

Planning chairman Ravi Govindia said: "Quite simply the inspector got it wrong. The only reason the mast had been built without planning permission was because the council had been told it would be lower than 15 metres."

The council's victory puts the ball back in the secretary of state's court. He will have to decide whether or not to order the mast's removal. The council had told the company in January 2001 that because the installation at Rosslyn Park rugby ground was higher than 15 metres it had to be either reduced in height or removed.

The mast had been erected without planning permission on the basis that its height was below 15 metres. Investigations subsequently confirmed that the height for planning purposes was over the 15 metre limit.

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