Express & Star

Anger over masts bid at former Staffordshire Police site

Two new phone masts will be installed to replace one which is set to be hauled down under plans to transform the former Staffordshire Police headquarters site, it emerged today.

Matthew Ellis

The 50ft masts would go up near the bus stop on Cannock Road and in nearby Baswich Lane. The current mast, at the former police HQ in Weeping Cross, has been a major stumbling block for force bosses who are trying to secure a deal to redevelop the land.

The new masts would be used by mobile networks 3 and EE – but the plans have sparked fury from residents living nearby.

Wildwood resident John Round said: "There is no tree screen to mask a 50ft high mast from my property. It will be taller than any of the adjacent trees.

"The pedestrian access to the bus stop is already restricted by a lamppost and this proposal further restricts access to both the bus stop and crossing adjacent.

"There is potential for a serious road traffic accident by driver distraction on the crossing/bus stop bend. Why locate this thing on a major road anyway?"

Councillor John Francis, who represents the area, said there was widespread anger. He said: "We don't want to see masts put up in residential areas and the residents are furious. Nearly everybody has a mobile phone these days so we do have to live with the consequences, but I can't see why they have to put them by people's homes."

Demolition work is continuing at former HQ site and Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis hopes the existing mast will soon be removed.

The prime site of the headquarters in Cannock Road has been on the market since August 2011.

Two sales have fallen through at the last minute and a decision over its future was put in the hands of Mr Ellis.

He has claimed the main obstacle to a potential deal is the phone mast in the middle of the site. The site is valued at between £5million and £10m.

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