Vale MP Alun Cairns, alongside members from FocusBARRY, has met with representatives from Vodafone to discuss potential locations to site a telephone mast in the local area.
Mr Cairns has stated that he is determined to secure better telephone services for local residents and requested the meeting with Vodafone to discuss a suitable location for a new mast, following the refusal of their previous proposal which was met with local opposition.
The MP was amongst those who found objection with the site at Knap Gardens and has, along with local campaigners, suggested better-suited alternative sites.
CTIL, a joint venture between Vodafone and Telefonica, had their application for a 12.5m high mast at the entrance to the Knap Lake Gardens, rejected by the Vale Council in recent weeks. The company appealed this decision through the Planning Inspectorate, who decided to reject the appeal.
The decision to reject the application for a mast in this location was welcomed by residents as well as Mr Cairns, who believed that the proposal offered a trade-off between improved services and protection of the local area. A price they were unwilling to pay.
Throughout the meeting both Mr Cairns and members of FocusBARRY had the opportunity to express the importance of protecting key features of the local area, which had been a main concern with the previous proposal.
While Mr Cairns said that he wants to secure better telephone services, he made it clear to Vodafone representatives that it should not be at the cost to the area and that this should be a key consideration for them going forward.
The local MP said, “It is key to decisions like this that local residents are involved and consulted during the decision making process. I am happy to see Vodafone have been taking on board their opinions.
"I’m glad that they came to meet us on site, hear our concerns and show that they’re willing to work to find an alternative solution that works for us.”
He added, “Of course it is important to improve phone signal in the area and I’m determined to help secure that, but that shouldn’t come at a cost to the surrounding scenery.
"We discussed a number of suitable locations for the telephone mast and I am now waiting for further correspondence from Vodafone, as they take the next steps in finalising the most suitable location for the mast.”