18
Mrz
2005

Time for rethink on mast policy

Published on 17/03/2005

Concerns: Do mobile phone masts pose a risk?

IT IS becoming increasing apparent that the planning system for mobile phone masts is in urgent need of an overhaul.

Regulations which were designed to kick-start the telecommunications industry 20 years ago only serve today to override genuine local, environmental and safety concerns about where best to place masts.

Carlisle City Council has very little discretion over their location, especially for 'Tetra' masts and those planned by Network Rail.

National planning diktats issued from Whitehall explicitly prevent the council's planning committee from taking health concerns into account, even though an independent panel of scientists urged caution on their location back in 2000, especially near schools.

The end result is feelings of powerlessness and frustration among those living under the threat of unwanted and badly located masts.

This is why I welcome new proposals by Conservatives nationally for all mast developments to require full planning permission, to allow health concerns to be taken into account and to ensure that they do not result in unacceptable damage to visual amenity.

Most of us want to be able to use mobile phones, but it is about time local people in Carlisle had the final say on where masts go.

Gareth Ellis
Helvellyn Rise
Carlisle

//www.newsandstar.co.uk/opinion/viewarticle.aspx?id=190330


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