| 8 August 2003
Phone mast may threaten ancient site
Concern has been voiced by archaeologists over plans to site a mobile phone tower near a Bronze Age monument. Planning officers recommended Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council planning committee approve the mast at Airy Hill Farm, Boosbeck, near Guisborough (England).
It would be sited 40 metres from a burial ground dating back to about 1800 BCE, which has national protection. Robin Daniels, from interest group Tees Archaeology, said: "We want to ensure that this scheduled monument survives and we are concerned that if planning permission is granted for this mobile mast that further masts may also be built near it in the future. We are happy for this mast to be built 40 metres away from the site, but we are worried any future masts may creep closer to the site. By the time three or four more masts have been built, that 40 metres can soon be eroded. We often see the proliferation of these things once one has been built."
The site is protected under national legislation and permission would have to be sought from the Secretary of State for any building which was less than 40 metres away from the site. Mr Daniels said: "This burial mound has not been excavated, but the pattern you see is that mounds such as these have the cremation urn of an important person from the local area at the base and often secondary urns were inserted later. The mounds acted both as burial grounds and as territorial markers and were found round the edges of boundaries."
Mobile phone company Orange PCS submitted the application for the mast. It would be a 20-metre lattice tower supporting three antennae and two microwave dishes. Equipment cabinets would also have to be built next to the mast. The site is close to an existing mast and a pylon, both owned by Northern Electric, but Orange has found it impossible to reach an agreement to share the structures.
Source: This is the Northeast.co.uk (6 August 2003)
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