12
Jun
2005

Residents to fight phone masts plan

Leigh (Lancs) Journal

FURIOUS families are protesting at plans by T-Mobile to erect a mobile phone mast on their estate.

The company has posted its intentions to raise a 15m pole close to homes in Carisbrooke Road and Queensway, Higher Folds, in a bid to test residents' reactions before applying to Wigan Council for planning permission.

But fearful residents intend to fight every step of the way to stop the scheme on health grounds.

Carisbrooke Road mum-of-three Jean Clayton is appealing to all residents to write letters of objection to both T Mobile and to Wigan Council as soon as possible.

She said: "We already have a Vodafone mast in the vicinity near Stafford 's Farm and we don't want another.

"There are two schools, Higher Folds CP and St Gabrielís, close by and lots of children play in the area.

"I rang T Mobile to voice my concerns and was told that the mast is low health risk and that there is no evidence that they cause cancer. On that reasoning there is no evidence that they donít either. There is no smoke without fire and at the end of the day it is the children we are thinking about.

"My children are growing up, Suzanne is 17, Leanne 14 and Steven nine, but there are lots of younger children here. If the mast did go up I would be frightened to death of going to sleep with my bedroom window open because of radiation. But we don't intend to let it happen.

"I urge everyone on the estate to join the protest and write to the company immediately and let them know they have a fight on their hands."

A T-Mobile spokesman said: "We are at the first stages of pre-consultation, gathering feedback and views from the local community. The planning consideration is for a 15 metre monopole to provide 3G network coverage to our customers in this area.

"T-Mobile is committed to responsible network development and fully subscribes to the Governmentís Code of Best Practice on Mobile Phone Network Development. When considering a site we enter full consultation with all concerned parties, including local residents and schools before submitting any planning permission.

"The use of mobile phones in the UK has grown at a phenomenal rate, with some 60 million now in use. All communities have the potential to benefit from first class mobile communications whether they are used for business, social or emergency purposes.

"Without a network of base stations, however, mobile phones simply do not work. T-Mobile understands there sometimes can be concerns when locating base stations in communities.

"Base stations are low powered radio transmitters, and it is important to recognise that the radio frequency signal from them represents just one source of Radio Frequency in everyday lives. Other sources in the environment include paging devices and emergency services communication systems. The radiowaves from nearby base stations are favourably comparable to exposure from distant masts and from TV and FM radio and other transmitters.

"Based on over 40 years of research, T-Mobile is confident that its base stations do not present a health risk to any member of the public.

"It also recognises that one of the biggest challenges facing operators is minimising the impact it has on the environment. When a new mast is needed, we try to reduce the impact on the local environment with sensitive siting, innovative designs and, where appropriate, landscaping."


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