Protesters call on Human Rights Act to stop mast

30 September 2005
Katie Davies

RESIDENTS in a West Hampstead housing complex are threatening to use the Human Rights Act to prevent Vodaphone putting a phone mast on their roof.

The freeholder of Weech Hall, Geoffrey Gay, has agreed to let the phone company put up the mast - if it gets permission from Camden Council.

But residents and people who work near the block in Fortune Green Road are concerned that the mast would be a health risk.

Resident Camilla Hallett said: "The plans show there would be four masts directly over the heads of people when they are sleeping.

"I've read numerous health studies which show how dangerous they are."

Ms Hallett, who has lived in the block for three years, has spent £30,000 renovating the flat in the hope of selling it in order to move to Australia. However, she is worried that the mast would affect the value of the property.

"We are trying to get a solicitor to fight out the case under the Human Rights Act," she said.

"It should be taken into account in London, we are all just sitting ducks for these companies."

Jonathan Wiseman only moved into the block on Saturday but claims that no mention was made of the phone mast.

He said: "It would have made me think twice about buying or it certainly would have made me think about how much I was paying."

Headteacher of nearby Fortune Green Playcentre, Sarah Kochanovsky, said: "A lot of parents are worried about the risks. I live in Hampstead and I know people opposed one and got it stopped. I don't know if it will work here."

But Vodaphone, which has not yet submitted a planning application for the site, said: "It is a site that is required to provide coverage for the area.

"Glass reflective plastic will be placed over the antennas so the base station will look like a chimney pot from the ground.

"Vodaphone deals with the complaints of residents seriously and is currently involved in extensive consultation with local residents at this site."

Freeholder Geoffrey Gay told the Ham&High: "There is no evidence that mobile phone masts reduce the value of houses. As we own a flat in Weech Hall we are in the same position as all of the other occupiers."

Omega there is evidence that mobile phone masts reduce the value of houses. See "Affects on Residential Property Value as a Consequence of Telecom Instalations" under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1019472/ and
"Masts and your property: it’s time to be heard" under:



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