20
Feb
2005

A letter to pin on the door of 10 Downing Street?

WE HAVE A COMMON CONCERN TO FIGHT FOR

09:30 - 19 February 2005

I would like to thank the Evening Telegraph for bringing to public attention the proposal to site a mobile phone mast in Shardlow Road, Alvaston (January 31).

I would also like to thank the 93 per cent of the public and the councillors who rejected the idea of a mast in the limited consultation carried out by Walcom.

Unfortunately, it seems that public opinion does not count and the mast is still on.

Apparently the legislation does not allow councils to reject applications for masts below l5 metres.

Other sources of information indicate that failing to refuse and going against public opinion may be due to financial reasons. The prospect of court costs should the company appeal are overwhelming and people cannot generally afford to go to court to fight this type of action.

Should we be playing with our futures and those of our children by placing masts in residential areas?

A letter from a Walcom representative for Vodafone indicates that in built-up areas masts may only be effective for up to a few hundred metres.

Assuming this to be 500 metres, then for an area of 36sqkm, roughly the size of Alvaston, Boulton and Crewton, we would need some 196 masts to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Now that is something for all residents of these areas and Derby to think about.

What I have to ask is when did we become a dictatorship fuelled by profit and not a democracy?

It would appear that mobile phone companies are able to dictate where they are going to place masts and members of the public just have to accept it.

Why do we have one planning rule for mobile phone companies who want to erect masts without fear of refusal and another for us?

Imagine the resistance should you wish to erect a similar structure in the same area.

This entire debate is made even more interesting given that the land in question has been the subject of other planning proposals. All suggested uses were rejected on the grounds that the land is common land, not council land, and cannot be built on or altered.

Who will pay compensation for loss of house values as a result of the mast being erected? And who will compensate for any health problems that may arise as a result of the mast being erected?

Of course, I do have a mobile phone, but I feel that masts should not be erected in residential areas.

I would like to see residents writing letters of objection when the planning application is submitted and attending the meetings in numbers to voice their fears and concerns.

Kevin Winson,
Manifold Drive,
Alvaston.

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