More and more mobile phone masts are springing up all over Luton. Liberal Democrats understand the need to extend telecommunications coverage but believe that local communities should have more powers over where phone masts are situated.
If the proposed mast is to be sited on Highway Land (this includes pavements and public footpaths) the Council can object to the siting or appearance but if it does so it MUST offer an alternative site which is acceptable to the phone company. In practice this means the mast can only be resisted if the proposed location will cause an obstruction and even then the Council has to offer an alternative location which is acceptable to the company.
Every time the Council deals with a new mast a letter is automatically fired off to the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG) protesting strongly that local authorities should be given greater powers to control the installations.
On 19 July 2005, following a Liberal Democrat Council resolution, Luton Liberal Democrats wrote to the town’s two Labour MPs asking for their support in promoting or supporting a private members’ bill to give local authorities more power. Sadly, nothing has changed.
Luton Liberal Democrats will continue to demand that the local Council and the communities it represents should be able to participate in a meaningful way in the planning process when it comes to phone masts.