Smiles as mast plan is scrapped
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DELIGHT: Campaigners, including Sharon (back row, green jacket) show their joy this week
PEOPLE power has thwarted plans to erect a mobile phone mast on land children play football on.
Residents are delighted the future of the threatened spot has been safe-guarded after new land owners the Royal Bank of Scotland gave their word to Barrhead Councillor Danny Devlin that a phone mast is not in their plans for the Blackbyres Road site.
A protest - led by local mum Sharon Sudding - had been gathering momentum since August 2011 when a plan to build a 60ft-tall mast on the site came to light.
East Renfrewshire Council originally refused telecom giant Vodaphone planning permission - but everything was thrown back to square one after that decision was overturned on appeal by the Scottish Government in February.
However, the plot was bought just last week by the banking giant who now say a mobile phone mast is NOT part of their plans for the site.
Organiser Sharon - who was worried a phone mast could spark health problems - told the Barrhead News this week: "It's really good news - I'll take that as a result.
"We set up a meeting with the new owners as soon as we heard they had bought the site but it had to be cancelled. Fortunately Councillor Devlin managed to get them on the phone and we heard the good news straight away.
"It's been a long process and we are absolutely delighted with how it's turned out.
"It makes our hard work over the months worthwhile."
Sharon and her determined band of protesters were concerned by how close any phone mast tower would be to a grassy area used by local kids to play football, as well as a busy residential area.
They received considerable political backing from East Renfrewshire MP Jim Murphy, MSP for Renfrewshire South Hugh Henry and Councillor Devlin, who said: "At the end of the day it was the community that won it and I take my hat off to them - especially Sharon Sudding.
"It just shows that perhaps the Scottish Government should listen to local communities more often instead of big business.
"The community stood up for itself and won deservedly."