25
Nov
2005

Outrage over Kenilworth phone mast

Residents have criticised Warwick District Council for posting a planning notice for a 15m phone mast out of site from the public. Posters about the application by Vodafone have been placed on the gates of an electricity station in Scott Road, Kenilworth, where the mast could be built. This site can be accessed by a service road but residents believe it is too far away from the main street for them to spot easily. People living close to the site are now protesting about the application and say they have been given less time to make an objection to the plans which could go to a committee early next month. Clinton Primary School in Caesar Road has also objected. The mast and equipment cabin would back onto gardens in Oaks Road and could be seen by residents in The Mews.

Mel Elkington, of Rounds Hill, has children who attend Clinton Primary School. She said: "I am appalled at the notice which has been given. It should be where everybody can see it. I am extremely angry and worried about the plans. We do not yet know about the health issues."

Joe Rukin, of Caesar Road, added: "Where we live, we would expect to have adverse health effects, according to some reports - but we have had no notification on this. It is also close to two schools."

Debbie Flowers, of The Mews, will be able to see the mast from her house. She said: "I don't think this kind of mast should be put up in a built-up area. There are loads of sites where it can go and I don't want to see it from my bedroom window. "We have to look out for our children. There are enough horrible things in the world - we don't want another." Mrs Flowers said she only found out about the plans while she was talking to a neighbour.

Clinton Primary deputy head Sam Pater said: "We support the parents' concerns and would ask that the mast is re-sited away from a residential area." But Warwick District Council head of development control John Edwards said: "It was not easy to find a place for the site notice where it would stand out. But it has not prevented people from responding. Over all, we do feel that there was a reasonable level of publicity."

Vodafone spokesman Jane Frapwell said there are no regulations about where a mast can go. She added: "If there is a choice in a residential area where we can minimise the visual effect, we take it. But we cannot stop it completely because then there would not be mobile phone service in the area. Nine per cent of households rely on a mobile phone at home, so we have to provide this service."

25 November 2005

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