Councillor Bob Webb has criticised plans for a huge telecoms mast set to be relocated on the former Heworth gasworks development site. Residents living in the area have objected to the plans, and Cllr Webb echoed their views, saying it would be hugely damaging to those already living next to the site, .
Developer North Star is submitting plans for around 100 apartments off Heworth Green before a separate application for an intrusive, larger replacement telecoms mast is considered.
“The major problems with these plans,” said Cllr Webb, “are that they will be hugely damaging to the amenity of existing residents, as well as boxing the council into a corner where it has no choice but to approve the new, taller mast proposal. What the developer is doing is seeking to get all the homes approved leaving no flexibility over where the mast is situated, in a major change from what was first sold to neighbouring local residents by the developer.
“What options does the Planning Committee then have – the mast must be agreed and must be in the location the developer wants it in or the whole development is at risk? I’m disappointed at the way the council is being played here and local residents are appalled at the impact this taller mast will have on them, and it’s little surprise why”.
Residents living on the other side of the path, in Heworth Mews, have submitted their objections to a mast they argue will be only ‘metres away’ from their balconies, ruining any views they currently have. The earmarked plot for the telecoms mast is situated next to a planned toddlers play area on the southern edge of the former gasworks site, next to the Foss Islands cycle path.
A committee date for approval of Zone C – around 100 apartments – is expected in the coming months, with the telecoms mast application expected to follow sometime after. The developer has responded to residents’ questions about the mast location, but residents have dismissed the response as a ‘brush-off’ that doesn’t answer their questions or respond to their concerns.
One local resident said, “Our only outside space is our balconies and the mast will be directly overshadowing us. The mature trees have been cut down already and we have lost our privacy and now will have little natural light. What was previously a view of trees and the Minster will be a dominant telephone mast – less than 50 metres from our apartments resulting in a total loss of our views and any enjoyment of our only outside space”.
Resident Jo Baker said, “I have always enjoyed sitting on my balcony, surrounded by trees and with complete privacy. Now all I can see a building site and soon my only view will be a telephone mast. To say I am upset is an understatement”.