Controversial internet firm, IX Wireless, was told it must tear down the ‘monstrous’ aerial.
‘An internet firm is set to appeal an order to remove a 60ft mast after an uproar from local residents, who claim it appeared without any notice or confirmation.
IX Wireless was told it must tear down the “monstrous” aerial – on the Tarvin Road estate, in Cheadle – by the local council.
Stockport council bosses gave the firm three months to get rid of the structure last October, reports the Manchester Evening News, on the grounds it had not secured the necessary permissions and the mast was ‘detrimental’ to residents and the appearance of the street.
However, it is understood the Blackburn-based firm – now under growing scrutiny over a series of donations it has made to Tory MPs, including Cheadle’s Mary Robinson – will lodge an appeal before the end of the month.
There is no suggestion of impropriety in any of the donations, writes the M.E.N. Coun David Meller, who represents the area, says the council is ready to put up a ‘robust case’ to ensure the appeal is not upheld.
“IX Wireless have put in an appeal, they are appealing the enforcement notice that the council gave them, effectively,” he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service. “What the council are having to do now is put together a case to justify the enforcement notice and get it [the mast] taken down – obviously IX Wireless claim it was permitted development.”
He is now working with residents in Tarvin Road, Malpas Close and Lymm Walk to put together a dossier of evidence for the planning inspectorate to bolster the argument for removing the ‘6G’ mast, that locals have dubbed ‘The Rocket’. IX Wireless has attracted huge controversy for putting up huge masts across the northwest with minimal notice or consultation – including in Bury where it was fined for carrying out unauthorised work.
The firm says its “simple mission” is to “bring 21st-century digital infrastructure to towns and cities across the northwest and beyond” – earning the praise of former digital secretary Oliver Dowden, who described it as “a levelling up game changer”.
But it has come under the microscope for donating more than £138,000 to 24 Tory MPs since 2019 – including £2,000 to Cheadle MP Mary Robinson in July 2021. Other recipients include Conservatives James Daly MP (Bury North) and Chris Green (Bolton West). Christian Wakeford, Labour MP for Bury South also received £2,500K, albeit before he defected from the Tories.
Mrs Robinson did not respond to a question from the Local Democracy Reporting Service as to what the donation was for, or whether she believed IX Wireless was an appropriate firm to accept money from. She was also asked whether she would support the council and residents in fighting IX Wireless’ appeal.
IX Wireless is 75 per cent owned by Cohiba Communications Limited, which includes Conservative peer James Wharton among its directors.
Coun Meller said he had concerns over the donations but did not condemn any MP outright. “I am wary about the potential influence these IX Wireless donations have had on Conservative MPs,” he told the LDRS. “However, we absolutely must not throw around accusations without proper evidence.
“What I think the IX Wireless saga has shown is the issue of donations across our political system. Donations can form a legitimate and, actually, important part of funding the vital work political parties, MPs and even councillors do.
“Yet inevitably, there’ll always be concern they could sway decision making.”
Coun Meller, who represents Cheadle Hulme North, said it was ultimately up to politicians to uphold the Nolan Principles which underpin the work of everyone involved in public life. “If evidence comes to light that they’ve potentially been broken, then inevitably investigations need to follow,” he added.’ https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1722391/Internet-firm-appeal-60ft-6G-mast