‘Monstrosity’ sparks anger in Flintshire

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Staff reporter

A FORMER minister says he has been bombarded with complaints about a mast being erected on a notorious site in Deeside.

Workmen were yesterday putting up a large telecommunications unit and mobile substation on the edge of the former Shotton Lane Social Club site, two months after the club was destroyed in a suspected arson attack.

The towering structure has generated mass criticism with Alyn and Deeside Labour candidate Carl Sargeant saying he has been inundated with complaints.

Mr Sargeant, a minister in the last Welsh Assembly Senedd government, branded the pole a “monstrosity” and believes it should not have been placed there without planning permission.

“They need to move it straight away,” he said. “It is an eyesore.

“The people of Shotton have suffered long enough.

“It is absolutely insensitive to put this there so soon after the fire and shows a lack of respect for the community.”

Also venting his anger at the development, on land which is brewery owned, was Shotton town councillor David Evans.

“A lot of residents are very unhappy about this,” he said.

“It is extremely big and there is a lot of visual intrusion, with it being very close to some of the homes.

“These people should not have come along and put this there without consulting people first.”

After the social club closed late last year the site returned to prominence when Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society announced it was planning to create a cultural centre with a mosque on the land.

But within weeks fire swept through the building overnight, leaving no alternative but for it to be pulled down.

The social club building previously had a communications pole attached, although it was less visible to the public.

A spokesman for Beacon Communications said his organisation was carrying out the work yesterday but had no other responsibility for the development.

He believed the company behind the development was likely to be a mobile phone operator.

“Our records show this is intended as a temporary measure,” he said.

“It would appear there was a similar structure where the building was and the reception in the area has been disturbed.”

A Flintshire Council spokesman said they had received a number of reports about the site and planning officers were investigating yesterday to determine whether or not planning permission was required.

- The contribution of different agencies in tackling the fire in the early hours of February 4 was applauded during a meeting of Flintshire Council’s community profile and partnerships overview and scrutiny committee yesterday.

Shotton councillor Doreen Mackie said Flintshire had received “nothing but praise” from residents for its involvement in the rescue operation.

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