U-turn for church in mast outrage

20 October 2005
RELIGIOUS leaders have bowed to pressure over the construction of a phone mast on church grounds.

An agreement had been reached between the Welling Methodist Church, in Bellegrove Road, and T-Mobile over putting up the antenna. But residents raised safety concerns and were angry over how consultation has been carried out. Now church leaders made a u-turn on their decision.

Church council spokesman Alan Turner-Smith said: "In view of the enormous disquiet about this (the proposed antenna), we decided not to go ahead with it. There was no safety issue here."

Mr Turner-Smith claims the church did consult with the community.

He added: "We went far, far beyond what would normally happen in a case like this.

"We let all the residents know and we also held a consultation day where we listened to people's comments."

Resident Alan Bannister, of Montrose Close, Welling, told the Times he felt the church has acted badly.

He said: "With the potential health fears regarding mobile phone masts, it beggars belief that a Christian organisation is content for a phone mast to be erected on premises used frequently by family groups with young children, and in a residential area.

"I am appalled about this quite honestly.

"All they did was put a notice up on the door of the church to announce this.

"I think they are guilty of poor distribution and circulation, and I think that has upset people more than the fact that they were going to allow one of these things to be put up in the first place."

A T-Mobile spokesman said: "As I understand it, T-Mobile is not proceeding with that site at the moment."




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