Workers' shock at new mobile mast

From Mast Network

Vodaphone at it again!

Workers' shock at new mobile mast

by Sarah Bayliss

Furious office workers, councillors, residents and community centre users are up in arms after discovering a mobile phone mast will be erected above their heads.

The mast, belonging to Vodafone, is to be installed on a chimney next to Shipley Town Hall, on a building which used to be the swimming baths.

The chimney is close to the town hall workplace of hundreds of office workers, the Asda supermarket, Kirkgate community centre, which hosts a playgroup, Kirkgate Studios and Workshops and a number of other shops and offices.

The alarm was raised this week after officers were told they would not be able to use the car park to the rear of the town hall for the next ten weeks while construction took place.

Councillor Martin Love (Shipley, Green) said: "This was the first any of the staff knew of this. There has been no consultation whatsoever either with ward councillors, residents or people who work within the vicinity of it.

"If there had been a consultation, there would have been a lot of people who would raise objections to the possible health risks associated with mobile phone masts."

Jackie Luckham, assistant project co-ordinator for the Kirkgate Studios and Workshops opposite the site, said: "This is in the middle of a built-up area of the centre of town. As a community organisation we are not that keen on having to live and work so close to it, and we haven't had a chance to have our say on it."

The building was sold by Bradford Council in the early 1980s and is presently occupied by tenants Pickles Furnishers and a chiropody practice.

A spokesman for Bradford Council said: "Telecommunication masts are permitted as long as they give prior notification and the applicant notified the Council in 2001.

"Under notification the applicant has the right to erect a mast within five years. In all cases relating to communication masts the applicants have to submit certificates to say their plans comply with international health guidelines."

However councillors are still determined to stop the installation going ahead.

They have written to local businesses, organisations and residents asking them to object to the closure of the car park in order to prevent access to the chimney.

A spokesman for Vodafone said: "Vodafone has an obligation to provide a service to people locally and clearly this installation is within legal permissions.

"We do recognise people have concerns about health but there are guidelines designed to protect the public which have the formal backing of the World Health Organisation.

"Those guidelines protect you 24 hours a day wherever you are in relation to a phone mast."


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März 2005

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