Phone mast could threaten 'health and house prices'

May 27 2005

Dorking and Leatherhead

By Daniel Edwards

A PROPOSAL by a major telecommunications company to install a mobile phone mast is causing concern among residents in Fetcham.

Mobile phone firm Vodafone has approached Mole Valley District Council to install a mast off Shamrock Close, Fetcham.

But residents living in the close are concerned about their health and the subsequent impact on the value of their properties.

Michael Cliff, who is already living 50ft from another telecommunications mast belonging to T-Mobile, said the new mast will be 28ft from his fence.

He is one of a group of residents to have written a letter in protest to the planning department to express his concerns about having a second mast placed next to his bungalow.

"When I spoke to the council they didn't seem bothered about our concerns of the impact on our health and the effects this might have on the value our property," said Mr Cliff, 73. "I am not in very good health at the moment so I am concerned about what effect this will have on me, and the value of our property.

"I have spent £28,000 on improvements on the house, but if the planning department allow the mast to be built I will never be able to sell. "If the second phone mast goes up it won't matter where you sit in the garden because all you will be able to see are these masts. "We already have one phone mast in the village so why do we need a second?"

Mole Valley's area planning manager, Gary Rhoades-Brown said: "It is inappropriate for any comment to be made on an application, but all material circumstances are fully considered before any decision is made by the council."

Jane Frapwell, public relations officer for Vodafone, said: "All Vodafone installations are designed to be compliant with stringent international guidelines and they are recommended by Government and have the general backing from the World Health Organisation.

"The guidelines are in place to protect all of us whether the mast is one or 1,000 metres away."

Florence Jack, who lives opposite Mr Cliff on Shamrock Close has written to Mole Valley's planning department and MP Sir Paul Beresford objecting to the proposal.

She said: "I wrote to the council when they put up the first mast. It's bad enough having one there, it will be visually intrusive.

"Why are they going to place the mast in a populated area?"


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