Phone mast victory


Caron Brooks (left) and supporters at their phone masts protest PROTEST groups against mobile masts in Muswell Hill received a massive boost when Haringey Council pledged to pressure the Government over the worries faced by residents.

The council is one of a small clutch in the country to take the plight of neighbourhoods plagued by mobile phone masts, to Westminster.

The issue was raised at a meeting of the full council on Monday night as a delegation of Muswell Hill residents protested on the steps of Haringey Civic Centre in Wood Green.

The demonstrators were opposing masts being erected close to their homes.

Campaigner Caron Brooks, who lives near Barrington Court, Colney Hatch Lane - which has a number of antennae on its roof - said: "It has never happened before. We have never managed to get anything like this."

Councillor Wayne Hoban (Liberal Democrat), of Alexandra Ward, urged the council to reject plans for mobile phone masts on the "precautionary principle" of possible health risks linked to the equipment.

This element of Councillor Hoban's motion was rejected in the council chamber, but his calls for pressure being put on the Government received cross-party support.

Ms Brooks added: "We would have liked to see the precautionary principle included - we want all masts and antennae removed from residential areas."

Mother-of-two, Hannah Berryman, who lives in Grand Avenue. Muswell Hill, close to a Vodafone mast, said: "We do not want our kids to have to be the guinea pigs. Children cannot decide whether they are near a mast in their school."

Her three-year-old was at Church Crescent pre-school, Muswell Hill, which had a mast sited nearby.

Councillor Hoban said after the meeting that he was "very disappointed" with the amendment because "the jury is still out regarding health concerns". But he welcomed the council's decision to set up a scrutiny review committee on mobile phone masts.

Councillor Gideon Bull (Labour, White Hart Lane), who is chairing the scrutiny review said: "I agree with all the concerns he [Councillor Hoban] has raised."

He added: "We need to be given more power to turn down mobile phone applications when they threaten our residents."

Councillor Harry Lister (Labour), executive member for enterprise and regeneration, said: "What we need to do together is to concentrate on the third part of this motion: to be part of a campaign that the government will take notice of and to do that in a way that will build up pressure not just from this authority but from every authority in London."

Councillors across the chamber agreed that the issue should not be turned into a "political football".



Phone mast victory

By Kate Southern
this is Local London

Residents are celebrating last week's unanimous decision by councillors to reject an application to erect a phone mast in Grange Park.

A demonstration this month by 250 residents, supported by Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes, opposed proposals by phone company Orange to site the mast in Cranleigh Gardens.

Following a recommendation by Enfield Council's planning officer to approve the application, the Grange Park residents took their fight to the planning committee meeting last Tuesday.

A restrained protest was held outside the Civic Centre before around 70 people observed councillors debate the proposal.

Authorities are not obliged under Government guidelines to take health concerns into consideration as long as emissions from proposed masts meet international guidelines.

Residents enjoyed strong support in the Civic Centre with Cllr Terry Neville, Cllr Pamela Adams and Cllr Martin Prescott objecting to the mast on environmental grounds.

Orange declined to send a representative to the meeting leaving the floor free for Grange Park resident Anthony Fogg to speak for five minutes on the protestors' behalf.

Councillors voted unanimously to reject the application.

A council spokeswoman said: "The reason for turning down this application is that the siting of the proposed mast would not only add to the existing street furniture clutter, but would also be detrimental to the visual look of the locality."

David Law, chairman of Grange Park Mast Action 05, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the result. The fact there was a unanimous vote in our favour is a clear vindication of the justness of our cause.

"We are aware that the case could go to appeal, but with such a resounding victory, the spirit and will of the community is now stronger than ever."


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