2
Jun
2005

CHURCH: WE COULD PUT A PHONE MAST IN OUR TOWER

Gloucester Echo

14:52 - 02 June 2005

Church leaders at St Philip and St James' in Leckhampton are planning to put a mobile phone mast in the tower. The church council has provisionally agreed to the request from QS4 Ltd.

The church, which would receive an annual fee for hosting the equipment, believes the mast would be less of an eyesore inside the building than outside.

It says there is a need for a mast in Leckhampton because there is poor network coverage in the area.

Residents and councillors are dismayed.

Borough councilllor Robin MacDonald (Leckhampton, Con) attacked the move.

He said: "I don't agree with it. There are a lot of residents around there and I hope they consult with them.

"Putting it in the tower doesn't destroy the health hazards. It will still have radiation coming out of it."

He added: "The need for money is up to the church.

"But it would be a shame if they put that before people in the area."

The vicar, the Rev Canon Peter Chicken, said he was aware it was a sensitive issue.

He said: "The church council gave it a great deal of thought and was unanimous in giving it approval.

"Having examined the facts we were convinced that the risks to health and safety were minute. We take our responsibilities to the community very seriously."

Mr Chicken said the church intends to use the income to further its work with children and young people in the parish.

He added that there will be no final decision on whether the project will go ahead for at least three months, and there will be an opportunity for concerns or objections to be heard.
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