Joy as phone mast plan sunk

by Rebecca Jones

Oct 3, 2005

Campaigners in Kidderminster were celebrating after plans by mobile phone giant Vodaphone to build a mast on green belt land were thrown out for good.

The Government's planning inspectorate has rejected proposals to erect the 10-metre pole in Wolverley Road, Franche, following an outcry from hundreds of residents.

Wyre Forest District Council turned down the bid at the end of last year after a petition was raised against it but Vodaphone appealed to the Government.

Councillor Anne Hingley said today: "There were streets of people who wrote in to object. The mast was refused at local level and Vodaphone went to appeal.

"There was a petition at the newsagents and there was a lot of strong feelings against it.

"We've had a couple that have failed recently including one at the back of Coningsby Drive, so this is great news for campaigners."

Another mast for nearby Trimpley Drive has been recently thrown out by Wyre Forest planners.

At a packed development control meeting, councillors grilled Vodafone planning expert Susan McMorrow who spoke in support of the Wolverley Road mast.

However, phone companies have warned it might not be the end for them.

Mrs McMorrow said: "There will be a need for this equipment when people are unable to use their phones. The Government has said there must be 80 per cent coverage by 2007."

Fears have been raised by councillors that phone networks would continue to apply for the hi-tech equipment, which is currently not functioning in Kidderminster.

A Wyre Forest task group is now looking at new health legislation to examine widespread fears of long term effects of possible radiation caused by mobile phones.

A recent survey showed one in three children under the age of 10 now own their own mobiles. Sir William Stewart, chairman of the Health Protection Agency, warned earlier this year children under eight should be stopped using handsets.



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Oktober 2005

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