MP warning of '200 new phone masts'

by Emma Joseph

Daily Echo, Poole

MORE than 200 new mobile phone masts could be put up in Poole, according to the town's re-elected MP, Robert Syms.

Mr Syms is warning that recent comments from industry figures have suggested new "3G" technology will require four times as many masts than the present number.

That means local communities across the country are facing a further 130,000 mobile phone masts - an average of 209 in every parliamentary constituency.

Mr Syms said: "Throughout the election campaign I heard first-hand how the threat of poorly-located masts is causing alarm for many people.

"There is a presumption in favour of development inherent in the current planning system which overrides local, environmental and safety concerns.

"Current planning rules cannot cope with the imposition of 130,000 more masts - with up to 200 more near homes and schools across Poole."

Mr Syms is backing the Conservative party in lobbying the government for full planning permission and a single process for dealing with all masts and asking for councils to be allowed to take health concerns into account.

The party also wants mast operators to be required to demonstrate that any development does not result in unacceptable damage to visual amenity or environmentally sensitive features and councils to draw up their own supplementary planning guidance to ensure consistency.

Mr Syms added: "We all want to be able to use a mobile phone, but this doesn't mean masts should be constructed without any regard for the well-being of local people in Poole.

"I will be calling on the government to address the feelings of powerlessness and frustration experienced by those living under the threat of badly-sited masts," he added.

First published: May 20


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