Mobile phone masts. You either love ’em or hate ’em. Some people say there’s not enough, and want more to get better 3G coverage. Others claim they’re the devils work, is the reason kids don’t play outside anymore, and cause everything from ingrowing toenails to clusters of cancer.
Meet Sean Denman from Hordle, in Hampshire. He runs a service station (petrol station to you and me, gas station to our American and Canadian cousins, and probably something else in the rest of the English-speaking world). And yes, his petrol station does really have a blog.
Vodafone approached Sean and offered him £4,500 to put a 3G mast on his property. Rather bizarre, you may think – as we’re always being scolded for using our mobiles whilst filling up the car – but I digress.
Mr Denman turned down the money, and told Vodafone to sling their hook. So they then decided to shift their plans and put it on the pavement outside. Planning permission was turned down initially, but agreed on appeal.
So our garage owner, now out of pocket, decided to take revenge. He parked a car on his property, overhanging the proposed site, and welded a big metal pole to it. A bit of DIY later, and the people of Hordle had acquired their very own ‘fake’ phone mast.
According to the BBC, Mr. Denman is not a happy man. ” had to get land surveyors to mark down where this construction would go.
“Not having complete right of way, I decided I can’t put anything on the pavement so took a car, welded on a box and pole which overhangs by the correct amount covering where the mast and box would go.
“They [Vodafone] feel they can put their construction anywhere and make up any excuse. I am not against it, but not in this sort of place.”
Vodafone retorted, telling the BBC they weren’t planning to put up the mast until late 2010 anyway. “The proposed radio base station… is required to improve the 3G coverage to our customers in the area” – and then went on to admit they’d now need to seek another set of planning permission to move the site of their proposed installation across the pavement a bit from where they had wanted to put it – still outside Mr. Denman’s property.
I’ll give you one guess what our annoyed garage owner will do next..