30
Aug
2005

GO-AHEAD FOR PHONE MAST DESPITE PROTEST

KATIE NORMAN
KATIE.NORMAN@GRIMSBYTELEGRAPH.CO.UK

12:30 - 29 August 2005

A Mobile phone mast will be erected despite a petition against it signed by more than 500 people.

The decision to allow the 9.5-metre Vodafone mast on the corner of North Sea Lane and Carrington Drive, Humberston, was passed after a majority of six to five North East Lincolnshire Council planning committee members voted to accept the plan. Planning officers advised councillors not to take any rumoured health issues relating to the masts into account and assured them other considered sites were unsuitable.

Humberston Parish Council had opposed the mast because of the residential location and had suggested alternative locations which were apparently inadequate.

Its chairman, Coun Cedric Skelton, who lives on Carrington Drive, said: "I think it is completely wrong. The planning committee just do not take into account what people think of these things.

"There is no consideration given. Why do they want people's opinions if they are going to ignore them?

"No matter what we do we seem to get overruled every time."

But NELC's Coun Colin Eastwell (Lib Dem, Croft Baker), who voted in favour of the plans, pointed out that a mast already exists within the grounds of Lindsey School.

He said: "I have a mobile phone in my pocket the same as the majority of the people in this room.

"I do accept there may be hazards, but I do not think they come from antennaes, I think they come from the phones themselves if at all they do.

"Nobody seems to object when they are using mobile phones. I think there is a bit of hypocrisy with these things, quite frankly."

And Coun Doug Pickett (Lib Dem, South) suggested people should accept the masts if they wished to benefit from new technology.

He said: "I think a lot of people are objecting because they do not understand whether there is a problem.

"Nobody has proved anything either way."

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Support for the residents was voiced by Coun Stewart Swinburn (Con, Immingham), but he was ultimately overruled.

He said: "How would you like having it outside your front windows?

"I am not in favour of having these things in such residential areas.

"Before we know it, they will be outside everybody's houses."

In agreement, Coun John Colebrook (Con, Humberston and New Waltham) added: "I am not convinced there is not a risk to health that might emerge in future years."

Nobody from Vodafone was available for comment.
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