We don't want a mast round here

30 September 2005 11:49

Families have reacted angrily to plans to put up a lamppost-style mobile phone mast near their homes.

Mobile phone firm Orange has submitted proposals to put a 37ft mast at the junction of Aylsham Road and Boundary Road in Norwich.

The plans have caused concern among families living nearby, because the health implications of such masts are still unclear.

Sales rep Michelle Adams, 32, of Bolingbrooke Road, who has a seven-year-old son Christopher, said: “I wish the rules meant they could not put masts close to places where lots of people live.

“I know they need these masts, but it's a shame they have to try to put them close to places where children live. No one knows whether these things are safe or not.”

Orange said it would put the mast on a pavement at the side of the busy junction if it got approval from city council planners. A similar scheme is also planned for Chartwell Road.

Self-employed builder Mark Welsh, 40, of Appleyard Cresent, who has two children, Alice, seven, and Reece, 13, said: “I use my mobile all the time, so I understand these masts have to go up.

“But surely it should be possible to put them in places away from where lots of people live.

“It's not something I have really thought about before, but I am sure quite a few people will be worried about this.”

The Evening News has campaigned for families to be given greater rights to object to the positioning of mobile phone masts on health grounds.

At present, planning laws do not permit any mast application to be turned down over fears it could cause medical complaints.

Norwich North MP Ian Gibson, a long-time supporter of our campaign, says the Government is on the verge of adapting the planning rules to make it tougher for mobile phone firms to put up masts.

A spokeswoman for Orange said: “We have consulted the parish council and ward councillors over this and there have not been any objections.

“As far as health and safety is concerned, we have to adhere to strict government guidelines; and health issues cannot be considered in relation to planning requirements.”

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under:

She said the mast, and accompanying cabinet, would be contained in a lamppost-style structure at the roadside. The proposals will go before City Hall planners soon.



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September 2005

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