8
Jun
2005

No phone masts here

COUNCILLORS voted to reject applications for masts next to schools, including St Christopher’s Primary

Tameside Advertiser

COUNCILLORS responded to a wave of protest from residents and rejected FOUR applications for mobile phone masts in one go.

This was despite a recommendation from planning officers to grant permission to all four.

The aplications by Vodafone and T-Mobile sparked letters of protest, petitions and a campaign which had the backing of MP David Heyes.

A proposed mast on Woodend Lane , Stalybridge attracted 522 letters of objections plus a petition containing 339 signatures.

Vodafone and T-Mobile have yet to announce whether they will appeal the decisions.

Another application, by T-Mobile for a mast on Broadoak Road , Ashton drew letters from 59 residents detailing concerns which included possible health risks to pupils at nearby St Christopher’s Primary School and Hartshead High School .

Mr Heyes backed their concerns.

Derek Stout, from the residents’ association, said: “I think we can all recall a while ago when people said there was nothing wrong with asbestos or BSE but we all know what happened there. Where this mast is going is where hundreds of children pass every day three or four times.”

He added: “The children are the future, it’s important that we get this right.”

It was refused by Wednesday’s planning committee on the grounds of proximity to local schools. A second application was made by Vodafone for a mast on a pavement opposite Brecon Avenue and Lancaster Road , Denton . It was refused because it was close to a youth centre.

Objectors included the council’s head of sports and cultural services who feared it might deter parents from bringing children to the nearby playing field.

The head of services for children and young people also had reservations because of the proximity to Corrie Primary Schools and Two Trees High School .

A proposed mast on Yew Tree Lane , Dukinfield, sparked a petition signed by 66 residents. Objections against the 15m mast for T-Mobile provoked concerns that it may devalue nearby properties or would be a target for vandalism.

Vicki Davies, whose house is opposite the site, told the panel: “My concern is the radiation. At the end of the day lots of children walk up and down the lane to go to Yew Tree Lane School and Astley High School .

“My child walks up and down Yew Tree Lane three times a day. I am sorry if you want to take risks with my child or anyone else’s.”
Councillors rejected the mast on the grounds of its visual appearance.

A spokeswoman for Vodafone. “Not a decision we take lightly and will give it considerable thought before we decide to proceed. We will look very carefully at the reasons for refusal and what they are.

“The National Radiological Protection Board, who are part of the Health Protection Agency, published a report in January which said there is no scientific basis for setting a minimum distance between a base station and any area where the public is.

“Official guidance is quite clear on these issues. The key issue to remember is the guidelines to protect the public are there to protect whether they are one metre or one mile from a radio base station.

“Clearly, we have many installations on roof tops and inner cities and if we didn’t have them there where people live there would not be a mobile service.”

T-Mobile did not comment.
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