12
Feb
2005

MAST APPLICATIONS START MPS' REVOLT - CONCERNS ABOUT PHONE MASTS

BY DAVID MACAULAY, WESTMINSTER CORRESPONDENT

11:00 - 12 February 2005

A revolt over the way communities are being "bombarded" by mobile phone mast applications is gathering pace among MPs at Westminster who are calling on ministers to look again at the health impacts of masts.

An Early Day Motion expressing disquiet over the spread and control over masts has attracted the signatures of 16 MPs just two days after it was tabled. Mast applications in South Devon are becoming increasingly controversial as the number of applications increases. Nationally the number of masts has grown from 20,000 to 45,000 since Sir William Stewart published his cautious report in 2000.

The EDM, tabled by Stephen Hesford, the Labour MP for Wirral West, warned the controls on masts were inadequate.

The motion "notes with considerable concern that communities up and down the United Kingdom are becoming bombarded with mobile phone applications, often repeatedly so".

The MPs also noted that "the so-called 10-point guidance issued by the industry to regulate and regularise such applications is more honoured in the breach than the observance".

They "further note that it is now almost five years since the Stewart report dealt with health-related issues and because concerns are increasing and scientific understanding has moved on and the output of such masts have increased", the issue should be re-examined.

They called on the Government to "look again" at planning guidance in relation to mast applications and to recall the Stewart Committee to reassess the health considerations over base stations.

Signatories include Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Vincent Cable, Paul Tyler (Lib-Dem, North Cornwall), Dr Ian Gibson (Lab. Norwich North) who chairs the Commons Science and Technology Committee and David Drew (Lab, Stroud).

In the meantime more cases of Devon residents who claim masts are damaging their health are coming to light. Last month Suki Trussler, a musician from Totnes, claimed she had been suffering ill effects for four year since her family moved into a flat in the town, 800 metres from a mast.

At the end of last year worried parents turned up at a public meeting to voice their fears over plans by Vodafone to erect a new mast at Torbay Council's Borough Road site, within 200 metres of Paignton Community and Sports College's upper school site.

And the same company's proposals to erect a mast at Warberry Copse have provoked an outcry from local residents.

The Mobile Operators Association says its members now have 45,000 masts in Britain - compared to 22,500 in 2001 - and expects the figure to rise to 50,000 by the end of 2007.

© Northcliffe Electronic Publishing Ltd.

//www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=134844&command=displayContent&sourceNode=134828&contentPK=11822807&moduleName=InternalSearch&keyword=MAST%20APPLICATIONS%20START%20MPS'%20REVOLT&formname=sidebarsearch



EDM 710

CONCERNS ABOUT PHONE MASTS

09.02.05

Hesford/Stephen

That this House notes with considerable concern that communities up and down the United Kingdom are becoming bombarded with mobile phone mast applications, often repeatedly so; further notes that the so-called 10 point guidance by the industry to regulate and regularise such applications is more honoured in the breach than the observance; further notes that it is now almost five years since the Stewart Report dealt with health-related issues; and, because (a) concerns are increasing and (b) scientific understanding has moved on and the output of such masts have increased, calls upon the Government urgently to look again at planning guidance in relation to mast applications and to recall the Stewart Committee in order that health aspects of mast applications can be reassessed.

//edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=710


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