Phone mast fury

Burnley Express

COUNCIL Leader Coun. Stuart Caddy has vowed to back residents' emotional battle against mobile phone masts in a neighbourhood of Lowerhouse.

Worried neighbours called an emergency meeting to voice concerns over proposals for a new mobile phone mast and the extension of one next to their homes.

Many claim they have suffered ill health since the 25 metre mast was extended from a 15 metre mast about four years ago. Mr Patrick Lock, of Wilson Fold, said they have taken as much as they can handle and it is time for action.

He said: "People are saying they are getting headaches and generally feeling ill. Personally whenever I am home, I suffer from a runny ear, which somehow vanishes while I am at work.

"I have been to see the doctor about it a number of times but the medication does not seem to make a difference.

"My wife Samantha cannot get to sleep and my little girl gets headaches. I am genuinely worried that the mast is having a bad effect on our health and this could get worse if they build another one."

Mobile phone giants Orange has applied for permission to construct a 20 metre mast in land off Gannow Lane.

A temporary mast was erected early yesterday morning in an effort to show residents it will not impact on their lives.

To make matters worse, the mast currently standing in grassland at the end of the street could soon be extended. The mast was built in 2001 and is shared by BT Cellnet and Orange.

Besides ill-health, Mr Lock fears property prices could plummet as a result. He went on: "One of the residents, who doesn't want any publicity, was recently trying to sell their home. The potential buyer took one look at the mast and pulled out straight away.

"The Government claim the masts are safe, but that children could suffer from over-using mobile phones. Well, phones can be switched off but that mast is there 24 hours a day."

Mr Lock has recruited the support of Mr Dennis Cannon, chairman of pressure group Together Against Masts, to boost his cause.

Mr Cannon claims the radiation levels in the house that have been detected are unacceptable.

He added: "Countless scientific studies show that exposure to the microwave radiation emitted by mobile phone masts produce serious adverse health effects to living cells."

Mr Cannon's claims were backed up earlier this year when the Health Protection Agency (HPA) admitted for the first time that exposure to microwave radiation can damage health.

Coun. Caddy is urging the residents to drum up as much support as possible to make a strong case to the council.

He said: "I am not just doing this because I am the ward councillor, I strongly oppose any mast being put up in residential areas.
"I am extremely concerned and will fight this."

Mr Matthew Hayes, a planning officer with Orange, said the construction will comply with government guidelines.

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/

22 November 2005


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November 2005

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