A MAN who moved his family more than 170 miles to get away from telephone masts now faces having one built near his new home.

David Powell has lived in Hagworthingham for five years after moving from Newbury, Berkshire, which has a high rate of childhood leukaemia - one of the health risks associated by some with mobile phone masts.

The dad of two explained: "We deliberately moved into a conservation area to get away from the masts."

His family now faces living in the shadow of a proposed 22.5 metre mobile phone mast at Mount Pleasant Farm, Hagworthingham.

He is just one member of the newly formed Hagworthingham Action Group (HAG) which opposes the mast, applied for by phone company O2.

Dean Martin lives 200ft (60 metres) away from the site and Alison Thompson lives just 75ft (22 metres) away.

The mast will also overshadow a well-used public footpath. HAG members say more than 70 per cent of the nearby 300 residents are opposed to the mast.

Their main objections are due to the health risks associated with these types of masts, including cancer.

The site is also in an area of outstanding natural beauty which government guidelines on the siting of masts state should be avoided if possible.

Residents feel there are many other masts nearby which could be shared by O2, an option strongly encouraged by the government yet one which residents feel has not been fully explored by O2.

Mr Martin added: "We are not saying we don't want or don't need a mast, we are just saying we don't want it so close to residential properties."

Mr Martin and Mr Powell insist if the mast were to be built they would move away from the area - despite facing a loss of up to 50 per cent on the value of their homes.

Mrs Thompson has been told by an estate agent her house would be un-sellable if the mast was built.

Mum of three Alison Darling, who lives 500 yards from the proposed site, asked how a mast could be built so near children's homes when it is so difficult to get permission for one near a school.

She added: "We live in a disposable society, does this now extend as far as the disposal of our children and their habitat?"

* The News contacted O2 for its comments but these had not been received at the time of going to press.



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Dezember 2005

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