Fury over mast bid next to playgroup

GILLIAN SLOAN and Jon Wright, front, are leading the fight against the plan for the phone mast at the bowling club

THE club is next to a children's play group

ANGRY families have mounted a campaign against a plan to erect a 50ft mobile phone mast next to a playgroup HQ.

Telecommunications company T-Mobile has sent letters to homes in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, outlining its plan to disguise the mast as a flagpole on Meadow Rise estate.

It is at Bellshill and Mossend Bowling Club, which is next to the venue used by North Road Playgroup.

However, families have started a petition outlining concerns and objections to the proposal.

T-Mobile has still to submit a formal planning application to North Lanarkshire Council, but Jon Wright and Gillian Sloan, who stay near the proposed site, have rallied support from concerned neighbours.

Mr Wright, 37, a vehicle technician, said: "As a residential area, with a large population of families and young children, this is no place for a piece of potentially harmful industrial equipment.

"We don't know if Bellshill and Mossend Bowling Club officials have agreed to this plan, but with a playgroup adjacent to the proposed site and no one sure of the long term health risks, we will fight the proposal all the way.

"Apart from the health concerns, we are also worried about the visual impact of such an unsightly structure in the community and subsequent detriment to property prices.

"T-Mobile says the mast will look like a flagpole, but it is going to tower above everything else around it."

No one from the bowling club was available for comment, but a spokeswoman for T-Mobile defended the proposal and said the area would benefit from the mast.

She said: "The use of mobile phones in the UK has grown at a phenomenal rate, with some 60million now in use.

"All communities have the potential to benefit from first class mobile communications, whether they are used for business, social or emergency purposes, but without a network of base stations mobiles do not work.

"We understand there can sometimes be concerns about locating base stations in communities, but T-Mobile's stations are operating within strict national and international guidelines recognised by the World Health Organisation.

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

"We are confident our masts do not present a health risk to the public."

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