MP meets minister to voice mast concerns

by Johnathan Schroder

Enfield Independent

Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes is pushing for new laws to clamp down on the proliferation' of mobile telephone masts in residential areas.

He had a meeting with Jim Fitzpatrick, a minister in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, yesterday after joining more than 40 residents of Slades Hill, Enfield , at a protest on Saturday morning.

The group, who are concerned about the effect a 30-foot mobile mast would have on their health and property values, have just lost a year-long fight with telecommunications giant Orange , after the application was turned down by Enfield Council but passed on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.

The deadline for residents to appeal against that decision at the High Court passed on Friday.

Elsa Evans, who lives in Slades Hill opposite the proposed site, admits residents have probably lost the fight against Orange as they would be unable to afford the high costs associated with taking out a civil action.

She said: "We have gone down kicking and screaming.

"I am going to have my home valued now and then again when the mast is there. I feel like the values of our homes are being snatched away."

Mr Burrowes is angry because he feels current Government legislation does not take local issues into account.

He said: "While the council does what it can, and in many cases refuses permission, it can only do so much.

"People have the choice of whether to buy a mobile phone, but at the moment residents have no choice about a mast being put on their doorstep.

"Especially with new 3G technology, there is the prospect of many more masts, which is a real concern."

He has appealed to Mr Fitzpatrick for changes in the law and has promised to carry on lobbying on behalf of residents.

12:59pm Thursday 30th June 2005


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