1
Jul
2005

PHONE MAST PLANNED IN BUSY HOUSING AREA

This is Somerset

18:00 - 30 June 2005

A 12-metre communications mast could be put up in one of Wells' busiest residential areas. Telecommunications company 3 are in the process of getting their hands on a site on or near St Thomas Street and at the moment the disused petrol station on Bath Road is top of their list of potential locations.

The telecommunications equipment that they wish to install comprises a 12-metre high slimline monopole, painted to match the streetlamps in the area, incorporating three antennae and a 20cm transmission dish.

The plans have not yet been formally submitted to Mendip District Council, but a consultation document has been given to Wells City Council asking for their comments on the proposal.

The company 3 say that this site has been chosen because "it provides the required level of coverage for this mainly residential area" and "the siting and design maximises the distances from as many residential properties as possible and also maintains the space between existing street lamps".

They claim that the design of the mast will minimise the visual and environmental impact on the surrounding area, but at 12-metres high it will be considerably taller than the neighbouring streetlamps.

Seven alternative sites in the vicinity have been considered and discounted.

St Thomas 's Church was deemed unsuitable because it would require development in a conservation area, and two locations on the former hospital site were also dismissed for the same reason.

Consideration was given to sites on either side of the entrance to Hawkers Lane but the tall trees on one side would have interfered with the coverage and the on the other side it would be too close to a house.

A site on the open grassed land on Woodbury Avenue was discounted because the installation would be too prominent and a location on the western side of the entrance to the former garage site could not be used because the bus stop and street lamp meant that there was not enough space for the equipment.

Last week Wells City Council's planning committee decided that they needed more information before commenting on the proposal and questioned the necessity for it to be situated in the St Thomas area at all.

Mayor of Wells Norman Kennedy said: "The document they gave us was a waste of time.

"It left too many questions unanswered." Health risks relating to mobile telephones have been hitting the headlines recently.

Wells county councillor John Osman expressed his concerns about the potential dangers.

He said: "I am deeply concerned about this application going forward.

"It is too close to homes and I remain to be convinced that an installation such as this will pose no danger." But 3 say that emissions from this type of installation meet the guidelines for public exposure set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection and as such will pose no danger to neighbouring residents.

Omega the guidelines are obsolete and pose danger to neighbouring residents. Read under: //omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/

What do you think of this proposal? Write to the Wells Journal at Southover, Wells, BA5 1UH or e-mail editor@midsomnews.co.ik .
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