Anti-mast demo vows to fight on

by Pete Sherlock

Residents living near the site of a proposed mobile phone mast in Bulls Cross are continuing their protest despite the scheme being given the go-ahead.

A large crowd gathered last Friday at the site near the junction of Turkey Street and Great Cambridge Road to voice their disapproval.

Planning permission for the mast was granted by Enfield Council at a planning department meeting on August 31, following an application from T-Mobile.

Residents claim the council disregarded their concerns over the mast's environmental impact as well as potential health risks.

The Stewart report, published in 2000, found no evidence of a health risk to people living near mobile phone masts but public anxiety over the issue remains.

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Paula Lamb, 42, of Bowles Green, was one of those protesting on Friday.

She said: "I am not happy with the thought that once this mast is installed it is going to be radiating waves into our bedrooms.

"I am prepared to sit in the hole to stop them putting it up."

Local authorities are not obliged under Government guidelines to take health concerns into consideration as long as radiofrequency emissions from the proposed mast meet radiation protection guidelines.

A council spokeswoman said: "The applicant was able to demonstrate that the proposal met the existing safety guidelines."

Residents also claim the consultaion process was flawed and inadequate.

Letters were sent to residents and schools at the beginning of July, but some recipients say this was unacceptable because many people were on holiday.

Staff at St Ignatius college, which is near the site, say they never received notification of the proposal and it was left to a concerned resident to inform them. Head of sixth form Anthony Holborne said a letter of protest to the council had gone unanswered and that parents and staff remained concerned.

The residents are unable to appeal the decision but may seek a judicial review and say they will continue their campaign into the decision-making process.

Protestor Jason Rosario said: "The idea of the campaign is to highlight the misuse of power by the council and to encourage residents not to be afraid to oppose applications."

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Oktober 2005

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