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Beating the monster masts

Cornwall's landscape is vulnerable to large-scale developments Cornwall's landscape is vulnerable to large-scale developments © CPRE

Residents of Sandplace in the Looe Valley are rejoicing after their beautiful hamlet is no longer facing the threat of being overshadowed by a massive radio mast.

Supported by CPRE Cornwall, locals apealed against Network Rail plans to build the radio mast and communications control centre in their valley - a designated Area of Great Landscape Value. The branch made the case to Network Rail and Cornwall Council that the area relies on the idyllic and unspoilt beauty as the basis of its tourism - a key asset for the whole county.

They were also unhappy with the lack of consulation with local people, pointing out that local people were denied the chance to raise objections or request less-damaging alternatives. Thanks to their campaign, the control room is now being located to a less intrusive site and being built on a smaller scale - Network Rail have also vastly improved their communication with local residents, even making some of them part of their 'project team'.

The successful outcome of Sandplace is inspiring other groups who face similar threats from mast developments, such as in the Tamar Valley in Devon. CPRE Cornwall are also appealing for any local communities who need help with this issue to get in touch in order to share tactics and information.

Cornwall's tourism relies on the unspoilt beauty of the county

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