Seeing red over orange phone masts

00:00, Sep 28 2005

ic South London

By Mandy Little, The Mercury

A BIG battle with a communications giant is hotting up over an "industrial scale" mobile station just 20ft away from people's homes.

Since 1993, Orange has been granted permission from Greenwich council to install a range of mobile telecommunications equipment on the roof of Westcombe Court, Westcombe Park Road, Greenwich, despite local opposition

At present the station includes six masts, three dishes and related electrical equipment, weighing more than six tonnes.

But the company's lease is now up for renewal and residents of the block and the nearby area are urging the council not to give permission.

Spokesman Jonathan Bond, 38, from the campaign "The Future's GREEN not ORANGE" organised by Vanbrugh Park Estate Residents' Association (VPERA) said: "The main issue is the station is on top of the lift tower, just 20ft from residents' flats. It is unusual and quite shocking. Usually there is a service flat on the top floor which would separate it more - but not in this case.

"It is a heavily residential area. John Roan School is close by, as are a number of nurseries.

"People have been fuming about it for years.

"We don't know the long-term effects of such installations. There must be more suitable locations for it."

Omega we know the long-term effects of such installations see
"The Naila-Study" under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/398279/

He added the equipment leant over the internal walkways and staircases of the block and claimed that on two occasions parts had fallen off, posing safety hazards. He said the installation also interfered with access to the lifts for repairs and improvement works.

The dad-of-one, of Combe Avenue, said people were upset about the council's apparent lack of regard for the whole estate, which is in a conservation area.

The residential development was built in 1965 by the same architects of the Barbican Centre -Chamberlain, Powell and Bon. Council-owned, it is occupied by equal numbers of council tenants, leaseholders and freeholders.

The council has requested a report from Orange on the safety issues and Orange is now operating on a week-by-week lease.

A spokewoman from Orange said it was in discussions with the council and was addressing the issues raised by the community.


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September 2005

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