22
Feb
2005

This could harm young, says mum

Feb 21 2005

By Rhodri Phillips, The Journal


A mother is fighting plans to extend a mobile-phone mast next to her home.

Sarah Harle, correct of Forest Hall Road, Forest Hall, North Tyneside, said last night that adding three antennae to the mast on the roof of the Ritz bingo hall in her street would create an eyesore.

The 34-year-old single mother-of-one also said she was worried about potential health hazards - particularly as there are three schools and a nursery within a few hundred metres of the site.

She has raised a petition of more than 400 people who object to the mast being extended.

A mast with three antennae was installed on the Ritz building in August 2003, but phone company T-mobile has applied to North Tyneside Council to add another three.

It says the design would "not adversely impact upon the quality of its surroundings" and is necessary to provide phone coverage in the Forest Hall Road area.

Ms Harle, a kitchen assistant and play worker, said: "The first point is that it is an eyesore. It looks ugly and if there are three extra antennae added, it will be uglier.

"The second point is it could be damaging to people's health. There are families with children living close to the mobile-phone mast." She said Forest Hall, Ivy Road and St Mary's Primary Schools, and Forest Hall Day Nursery were all within a few hundred metres of the mast.

Benton ward Conservative councillor John Goodfellow has taken on Ms Harle's cause and has written to the council to voice his concern.

In his letter he says: "The three proposed antennae are not going to blend in and will be an eyesore on the skyline, creating the illusion of a run-down, uncared-for area."

He also argues the masts are not suitable in a densely populated area and he draws attention to the potential impact on the environment and the health of those living nearby.

Coun Goodfellow said yesterday: "I have taken this cause on because there are so many people in my ward who are objecting.

"There is the possibility that a mobile-phone mast can have polluting effects and could damage your health. That hasn't been proved either way yet. If it is damaging, there is the issue of schools in the streets nearby.

"There is also the issue that it is not in keeping with the surrounding area. This is a nice area and we want to keep it that way. This mast would have a detrimental impact. The feeling is running high in the area."

A planning meeting to decide whether the mast can be extended will be held on February 25.

No-one from North Tyneside Council or T-Mobile was available for comment last night.

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