Orange’s mobile mast bid leaves bitter taste

Hampstead and Highgate Express
06 January 2006
Matt Eley

HEALTH conscious residents in West Hampstead have launched a campaign against a major mobile phone company.

Orange has submitted plans to Camden Council for a mobile phone mast and base station at the junction of Iverson Road and West End Lane.

But neighbours near the spot have complained that the mast will only be 10 metres away from their bedrooms. They fear it will be noisy, out of keeping with the area and a health risk.

Candice Temple, who lives in the Redcroft flats in Iverson Road, has already collected 150 names on a petition against the plans.

The freelance writer and producer said: "It is going to be so close to people's bedrooms and it will bring the area down as it will be the first thing people see when they get off the train at the Thameslink train station.

"It will also be bad for business being located so close to the shopping area.

"And people are concerned about health risks.

"There was a Vodafone mast put in down the road last year so it feels like an invasion."

Anti-mobile mast campaigners believe radiation from the structures can cause cancer. But the Department of Health and the Mobile Operators Association insist British masts meet international safety standards.

Councillor John Bryant, for West Hampstead, is supporting the campaign against the application.

He said: "It will look pretty awful and it seems that they are carving up the area.

"If the aim is to get them as far away from residential properties as is possible they should be putting it on the railway lands next to the site.

"It seems daft to put it in the busy intersection of West End Lane and Iverson Road."

Camden Council is due to consider the application in the next few weeks.

A spokesman for Orange said: "We understand that there has been a high level of objection to this application, but it is increasingly difficult to find suitable locations for masts, especially in residential areas where the services are needed.

"People should not worry about living or working near this 10 metre mast which will resemble other street furniture in the area; they are safe by design as Orange fully complies with stringent guidelines for public exposure that have been set by government."

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


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