18
Nov
2005

Council takes stand on masts

editorial@hamhigh.co.uk
18 November 2005
Jonathan Marciano

COUNCIL bosses have sent a ringing message demanding more power to defeat mobile phone mast applications.

Haringey Council passed a motion this week designed to send a signal to the government that current policies are failing residents.

The authority wants a change to planning rules to allow councillors to consider the health implications of masts.

Caron Brooks from campaign group Muswell Hill Against the Mast Pages Hill said: "The current process for masts has not worked. Hundreds of people are against phone masts and antennae because of the risks of radiation but their views are ignored.

"We have a great problem in Muswell Hill as every mobile phone operator wants to be present at every single site.

"The part of Barrington Court I can see from my garden is littered with mobile phone equipment. It is frightening to think of the impact on children's health."

At a meeting on Monday councillors heard there is growing concern about masts, particularly near schools, hospitals and residential properties.

The authority cannot refuse mobile phone masts on health grounds and those below 15metres tall are entirely exempt from planning permission.

Councillors demanded more national research into the potential health risks, especially for children.

And they demanded mobile phone giants be required to make a full planning application for any proposals.

Councillor Gideon Bull said: "This is an issue where the government is wrong. We need more power to turn down applications where it is in the better interest of our residents."

Muswell Hill mothers have been campaigning against six Vodafone mobile phone masts on the telephone exchange building in Grand Avenue.

The mast is 200metres from Tetherdown school, Greygates nursery and the Treehouse school in Woodside Avenue.

Since the power went on parents at Tetherdown have complained of children suffering dizziness and headaches.

Campaigns have also raged against masts on Aylmer Road and Barrington Court in Colney Hatch Lane.

Mother-of-two Hannah Beryman, of Grand Avenue, who has a three-year-old, said: "This is not about scaremongering. There is no research saying masts are safe, yet we subject our children to the dangers. Our children are being used as guinea pigs."

The motion, which received cross-party support, calls for Haringey's two members of parliament to lobby for a moratorium on masts near schools, hospitals and houses.

The MPs will also be asked to support any bills in parliament allowing council's to reject mast applications.

Officers will also write to other London boroughs to ask them to follow suit.

broadway@hamhigh.co.uk

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