26
Nov
2005

Mast protests growing

North Wales Pioneer

25.11.05

THEIR advertising slogan, aimed at encouraging customers to talk more, is How Are You? But Deganwy residents are beginning to think that Vodafone don’t really care, after all.

Frightened householders have vowed to fight the erection of a three-metre radio mast, only yards from their homes.

They fear the proposed Vodafone 3G mast will effect their health and decrease the value of properties in the area.

It will be placed on the roof of the North Wales Badminton Centre, Deganwy, in a heavily populated residential area.

The centre are expected to receive around £4,000-a-year rent to house the mast, which will provide coverage for 3G phone users, but only in a 500m radius.

Residents, who have won the backing of county councillor Mike Priestly and AM Denise Idris Jones, have slammed the proposals as worrying and unnecessary.

One concerned voice, John Hurn, of Tan y Bethlan, who has a background in telecommunications, said: “We are frightened. These mobile phone companies might claim that there is no proof that it causes conditions like cancer, but only 30-years-ago we were being told thalidomide was safe.

“Most of the people within that area are of retirement age and would probably not use these services anyway. They claim that it is for business people in transit in the area, but there are no businesses within that 500m area.”

He said they were also concerned that it is Vodafone’s policy to encourage other mobile phone companies to share radio mast sites. This could lead to an influx of towers, he said.

A planning application has yet to be submitted.

Jane Frapwell, of Daly International, the company representing Vodafone’s application, said they had looked at other sites, but were found to be unsuitable.

She also quashed health concerns, citing World Health Organisation findings.

Under the terms of Vodafone’s 3G license, they, along with other service providers, must ensure 80 per cent UK coverage by 2007.

No one from the badminton centre was available for comment.

Elsewhere, Rhos on Sea campaigners, who are being supported by Clwyd West MP David Jones, have collected a petition of some 115 signatures opposing a planned 12ft mast at Colwyn Bay ’s cricket ground.

Mark Emberton, who is spearheading the opposition, said: “ We just can’t believe where it is sited, right next to the children’s play ground and a school, plus all the elderly people. Where this thing will be going, with the contours of the land, it will be level with our houses.”
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