7
Jul
2005

PHONE ANTENNAE LIKELY AT GROUND

BY LAURA MATLESS Bath Chronocle

11:00 - 07 July 2005

A controversial plan to site more mobile phone antennae at Bath City Football Club looks set be approved. Campaigners had opposed proposals to erect a new mast at the Twerton Park football ground, but now even more telecommunications equipment could be added.

Mobile phone giant Orange wants to attach three more high-powered aerials and a dish on to floodlights at Twerton Park .

Permission was originally given in 2002 to replace the north west floodlight tower and attach six antennae and four transmission dishes.

But now Bath and North East Somerset Council's Bath South local committee has been recommended to approve the extra equipment when they meet on Tuesday.

Objections to the plan include a 41-name petition, which was signed by nearby residents and parents of children who attend First Steps Centre, which is 100 metres from the tower.

Campaigners say the antennae will be too close to people's homes - including sheltered accommodation - and fear property prices could drop.

There are four mobile phone base stations already at the football ground, according to communications watchdog Ofcom.

Paul Williams, chief executive of the football club, said: "The application has been made by Orange and the type of equipment they use is up to them - all we do is give them a rental space at the ground.

"They had looked at various sites and decided that ours was suitable.

"Mobile phones are a thing of the future - everyone has them so the mast has to go somewhere in order for the reception to be available."

Another nearby resident who complained asked about the potential for the mast to interfere with electronic household items. The resident also asked if there had been enough publicity around the application.

The council officer's report into the application said: "This resident has received a response and confirmation that the publicity of this application is in accordance with statutory requirement and council policy.

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Has the football club ever been sent a Mast Sanity landowner letter, reminding them of their legal responsibility should it be proven in the future that these masts have affected the health of those living close by?

Caroline
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