Lobby sends 'no' signal over masts

Apr 8 2005

By Clare Casey

PROTESTERS took to the streets over plans for a third phone mast in a conservation area.

They were armed with "Are you listening Lambeth?" banners and a 500-strong petition calling for two O2 masts in Nevena Court, Brixton, to be removed and proposals for a third to be quashed.

Clare Macdonald, of Appach Road, 40, said: "Not only are they a complete eyesore that loom over our homes but they are a grave health risk.

"They don't even have planning permission for one of them."

Phone giant O2 put up the 3m masts on a three-storey block of private flats at the corner of Effra Road and Brixton Water Lane more than a year ago - but it only had permission for one. T-Mobile now wants to share the site and add a third, which has sparked fresh fury among residents.

Henrietta Mayhew, 40, of Appach Road, said: "I have a 20-month-old and a baby and every time I look up at the masts I worry about what they are doing to their health."

Councillor Toren Smith has joined the fight.

He said: "These masts are tall and extremely bulky with 'branches' coming off them - they are a terrible intrusion."

A Lambeth council spokeswoman confirmed one of the masts had been erected without permission.

She added: "We have spoken to O2 about this and they will co-operate by applying for retrospective planning permission.

"As with every application, the council will then consider public opinion before a decision is made."

A spokesman for O2 said he was unaware the company did not have permission for both of them.

He said: "I doubt whether the masts will be removed but I would be happy to meet with residents to allay their fears.

"We use plastic casing that can be made to look like a chimney and that could be an option here."

A spokesman for T-Mobile confirmed it had recently submitted a plan to the council for the shared site.

He said: "We sympathise with residents but, based on 40 years of research, we strongly believe the masts present no health risks."


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