24
Nov
2005

Families urged to fight mast plans

PETER WALSH

24 November 2005 12:28

Families are being encouraged to show their support for a campaign to stop a mobile phone mast being put up in a city street just yards from homes.

Telecommunications giant Vodafone has submitted plans with Norwich City Council for a 10 metre timber pole in the prestigious Newmarket Road area.

But Chris Hull, a Green party county councillor for Town Close ward, has written to people living near to the Newmarket Road Surgery, close to where the mast is set to be installed, to get their support in opposing the mast.

"This particular mast has a total height of 12 metres with antenna," he said. "The ground equipment is sited on a public highway and it is in a predominantly residential conservation area.

"I therefore believe it is not a suitable location for such an installation and any residents who are concerned about the application could make similar points to these to the council.

"Unlike concerns about health impacts on masts, current legislation does allow councils to take into account the visual impact of masts and any infringement onto public highway."

Earlier this month the Evening News reported how people living in the area were concerned about the proposal.

"I don't consider that a residential area such as this is a suitable area for a phone mast," said James Lord, 75, who lives off Newmarket Road in nearby Glenalmond.

"I wouldn't welcome anything that requires a large magnetic field which is what microwaves are."

The Evening News has campaigned against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe.

Dr Ian Gibson Norwich North MP and long time supporter of our campaign appealed to Vodafone to take the wishes of people who live near the mast into account before making these proposals and urged them to get in touch with him.

In April 1997 the Evening News reported how people living in the Newmarket Road area were furious over plans for a 25-metre telephone mast which they said would lower the value of their homes.

Cambridge-based Ionica has lodged an application with the city council to build the mast just off Newmarket Road.

But homeowners near the site at the Civil Service sports ground at Wentworth Green wrote to council planners urging them to block the scheme.

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said the latest mast complied with safety guidelines which have been put in place to protect everyone whether people lived near to the mast or not.

"It will be improving voice and text services but also bringing new services to local people," she said.

Are you fighting a mobile phone mast application where you live? Telephone Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on (01603) 772439 or e-mail peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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