Phone-mast protest

Oldham Evening Chronicle

FEARFUL residents are mounting a campaign against plans for a large phone mast close to their homes in Shaw.

They are alarmed at Vodafone’s application to replace an existing mast with a 21m-high (68.89ft) lattice-type structure at W Felton Ltd on the Trent Industrial Estate, off Duchess Street.

Wren’s Nest Residents’ Association has now launched a petition urging decision-makers at Oldham Council to refuse permission.

Campaign co-ordinator Andy Sutherland said: “This mast would tower above anything else in the local area and be a blot on the landscape.

“We are very angry and worried about the dangers, whether it is perceived or real, and this has already caused a considerable amount of anxiety and stress.”

Omega the dangers are real. See under:

The three main concerns of residents are the visual and environmental impact, interference with household electrical equipment and dangers to health.

They say the mast would be 6m (6.56yd) taller than the original mast, only 20m (21.87yd) from the nearest homes and would be an unsightly structure with 12 antennas and one microwave dish protruding.

It is even claimed that house prices could plummet by 20 to 30 per cent.

The protesters also state that gaps in knowledge about the potential health impacts of exposure to radiation warrant a precautionary app-roach to the siting of masts.

They say children are particularly vulnerable and warn that Rushcroft Primary School and Dunwood Park are only about 50m (54.68yd) from the proposed site.

An application for a smaller mast in the vicinity was turned down only two years ago, opponents point out.

The parish-council’s planning committee has recommended the scheme for approval and that it is used for mast sharing with other mobile-phone companies.

Vodafone said it had received a request from another operator, O2, to share the site.

This meant the height of the structure had to be increased from 15m (16.4yd) to 21m (22.96yd) to accommodate all the antennas without interference.


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Juli 2005

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