THE Yorkshire Dales National Park has changed its mind - with great reluctance - about the siting of two mobile phone masts on St Margaret's Church in Hawes.
Park planners had originally wanted to reject the application from Vodafone for the so-called "flag pole style antennae" on the listed building but have been forced to give the go-ahead for fear of losing a public enquiry into the case - and having to pay substantial legal costs.
Planning Committee chairman Kevin Lancaster commented: "This was a hard decision to reach, given the strength of local opposition to the application because of concerns over health risks.
"However, as a committee we are bound by planning law to only refuse applications where there are genuine planning reasons to do so. In this case Government guidance is clear, in that mobile phone masts that operate within approved guidelines do not pose a risk to health, and therefore this cannot be grounds for refusing an application of this type."