16
Jan
2006

Phone mast plan sparks fears

New plans to install a three-metre high mobile phone antenna in the heart of Bury St Edmunds have met stern opposition.

Vodafone has applied St Edmundsbury Borough Council to set up three antennae on top of the BT building in Whiting Street, even though two similar previous applications have been refused.

Paul Farmer, borough councillor for Abbeygate ward, wants the plans thrown out because of health fears and the impact it would have on the area's conservation area.

Cllr Farmer, who has leafleted 200 homes about the mast, said: "I expect residents to be strongly against this application, just as they were for the previous two submissions.

"There are genuinely held safety concerns, especially with two schools about 250 metres away."

Cllr Farmer said the antennae would draw attention to the BT building, which had a harmful effect on the area's conservation area.

The antennae would be designed to blend in with their surroundings, by being concealed in a chimney stack-like structure and painted the same colour as brickwork.

Stephen Arnold, spokesman for National Grid Wireless, which is submitting the plans on behalf of Vodafone, said: "We believe the design of the antennae is in keeping with the local character."

16 January 2006

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