18
Jun
2005

Protesters of a mobile phone mast will stage an all night vigil

Protesters of a mobile phone mast being put up on land near a rugby club will stage an all night vigil after rumours work would begin early on Saturday.

BBC News Website 18 June 05

Demonstrators have already erected a shed at the entrance to the site next to Talywain Rugby Club in Pontypool.

They plan to man the protest line throughout Friday night after hearing work on the Vodafone mast would begin.

Vodafone said it had legal permission to build on the site but could give no assurances when work would start.

Residents are objecting to the mast on health grounds and have said that they are seeking a judicial review over the plans.

Cath Gullick, who represents the protesters, said they wanted all of the issues to be discussed before any work was carried out on the site.

"There are a number of issues which we want to see resolved before any work begins," she said.

"We are concerned about several things including the health issues of putting a mast on a site which is close to residential properties.

"We just want these matters sorted out before any preparatory work takes place."

She said that since the first protest on 6 June where residents prevented contractors from entering the site of the planned mast, they have maintained a continued presence at the site.

She added that following rumours that contractors would attempt to begin work early Saturday morning, an all night vigil would be held at the site.

Ms Gullick said: "We are going to keep a close eye on things and if any lorries make their way here, all we have to do if phone everyone and there will be a crowd within minutes.

"There is such strong feeling about this whole matter."

Opinion split

Vodafone said it had planning permission from Torfaen council to erect the 15m mast at the site and to provide a service for the local people who use mobile phones.

A spokeswoman said that the start time of the work was dependent upon the contractors.

People in a number of areas across the UK have complained about masts amid concern over possible health risks.

Last month the UK government announced new research into their location, as well as mobile phone technology.

Scientific opinion is split, and the National Radiological Protection Board has urged more research into masts.

Torfaen planners have approved Vodafone's proposals for the 15m mast.

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Scientific opinion is split?! Hey, that's a whole lot better than 40 years of research proving they're harmless, dating back to before masts existed!!!

Andy
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