14
Mai
2005

COUNCILLORS SEEK MAST ASSURANCES

by JAMES BENSTEAD

//www.burtonmail.co.uk/detail.asp?cat=General%20News&id=5508064

COUNCILLORS are to seek further health and environmental assurances on a controversial 10-metre mobile phone mast earmarked for a South Derbyshire village.

Mobile phone giant Orange is planning to erect the mast and equipment cabin on a grass verge in Egginton Road, Etwall, within 150 yards of a residential street.

As reported last month in the Mail, villagers have raised a series of health concerns over the mast, also questioning its intrusive appearance and the need for extra coverage in an area they claim already has excellent mobile phone signals.

Although fears about health risks are not grounds on which a proposal for a mast can be refused, South Derbyshire District Council’s development control committee agreed to ask Orange for more details over the siting and appearance of the structure.

Councillor Frank Hood, who represents the Etwall ward, said: "I wasn’t particularly happy with the siting of this and would be happier if it was moved.

"I don’t think it’s in a very safe position, particularly as the report says it is rather near Little Jack Horner’s Day Nursery, and I would have thought there would be better sites for it."

While Councillor Bob Southern raised his worries about the mast’s 'overpowering' effect on residents, council leader Barrie Whyman said he was frustrated that another mast was proposed in an area that currently enjoyed good reception.

In its application, Orange says the level of radio frequencies the mast will emit are within EU guidelines, and the company points out that the structure will be only 2.5 metres higher than neighbouring lamp posts in the street.

The company also stresses the need for a mast to fill in a gap in a signal to meet the latest 3G video phone technology near to the A50 road.

The district council is currently in the process of drawing up a set of guidelines to represent the views of residents about mobile telephone mast applications.

As yet, the document is still in draft form, but it is expected to include location preferences for new masts — for example not too near any school.

12/05/2005


Informant: Sylvie
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