Mast victory as council throws out plans

by Sara Dixon
Wanstead and Woodford Guardian

PLANS to erect a mobile phone mast in South Woodford have been thrown out by councillors on the regional planning committee.

The five members of the committee voted overwhelming against the 15-metre telecommunication pole which phone company O2 wants to put up outside Waitrose in the High Road.

A letter sent by the company said that it needed to put up the pole, which was higher than the surrounding street lights, in order to provide proper transmission coverage for both second and third generation phones after a mast on the nearby Queen Mary and Westfield site came down following re-development plans.

The letter said the company had looked for alternative sites, but had discounted putting it near Carnarvon Road , where residents believe the high number of radiation-emitting transmitters was responsible for the high amount of cancer cases in the street.

Also Odeon Cinemas, which has a blanket ban on phone masts on its property, said no to the request for a mast to be put on the South Woodford cinema.

That left O2 with the option of the site near the North Circular, a plan which the committee rejected last week.

But just six weeks ago the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol upheld an appeal from T-Mobile, giving it the go-ahead for a mast on land next to the bowling club in Aldersbrook Road, Wanstead.

This came after Redbridge councillors originally said no and councillor Richard Hoskins believes O2 will also appeal.

He said: "I'm prepared to get into trouble on appeal. I'm sure the planning officers will think we're being irresponsible."

After discussing the public's health concerns about the radiation pumped out by the masts cllrs Richard Hoskins, Felicity Banks, Sue Nolan and Allan Burgess refused the application on grounds that the pole would be visually intrusive and make an already cluttered streetscape worse.


3:00pm Friday 8th July 2005

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