28
Okt
2005

Church spire aerial plan dropped

QS4 said aerials in church towers could give a "clear, strong signal"

A proposal to install a mobile phone aerial in a spire, which was the subject of angry opposition, has been dropped by a church council.

Police had to be called to St Luke's Church, in St John's, Tunbridge Wells in Kent, during heated protests by up to 100 people.

They reacted angrily when Vodafone went to the church to publicise the plans.

The Parochial Church Council of St Luke said it abandoned the plan "to avoid a damaging division in the community".

Kent Police were called when representatives of Vodafone and QS4 - a company appointed by the Church of England to negotiate such deals - were confronted by the protestors.

'Barrage of abuse'

The companies insisted the proposed aerial was not a health risk, while the church said local residents with 3G phones would benefit.

In a statement released on Friday, the church council said: "Ever since we were approached on this matter, we have followed the Church of England's national procedures which include consultation with the local community.

"Sadly our attempt to hold that consultation resulted in a display of rowdy behaviour and a barrage of abuse directed at our vicar.

"The Parochial Church Council of St Luke does not believe that there is any proven risk to health arising from the installation of such a mast.

Omega this is not true. See under:
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"Nevertheless, in order to avoid a damaging division within the community, it has decided not to pursue the project."

//news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/kent/4385306.stm
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