15
Jul
2005

Phone mast health worries after plans go unchallenged

by Richard Lyons

Surrey Comet

A 73-year-old Cheam man may sell the house he has lived in all his life after plans to build a mobile phone mast within yards of the property were approved without hearing residents' views.

John Foster, of Fieldsend Road, is among dozens of locals outraged that a plan submitted by T-Mobile to build a 14ft mast close to the junction of St Dunstan's Hill and Lumley Road has been given the go ahead.

Residents said their concerns about the health risks and the devaluation of property have not been heard despite the fact a petition containing 87 signatures was sent to Sutton Council outlining their objections.

Mr Foster said: "Instead of the council working for us, they appear to be working against us they are going to just stick the mast up regardless.

"I have had the house valued and I am actually considering moving out my wife and I feel this is the last straw."

Fellow Fieldsend Road residents, Karen Grant-Bond, 31, and husband Lloyd Bond, 34, were appalled when they learnt a phone mast would be erected next to the house they only bought last August.

Among the concerns Mrs Grant-Bond said were overlooked by planners was the suggestion the antenna would be better sited on the other side of the road where there are much fewer houses.

Mrs Grant-Bond said: "We are not going to stop just because it has been granted. We are going to take this to a judicial review."

The residents of Fieldsend Road have been joined in their campaign to get the mast plans scrapped by MP for Sutton and Cheam, Paul Burstow.

Mr Burstow has backed a bill which would see planning guidelines for mobile phone masts overhauled in favour of tighter regulations.

As the law stands, masts under 15 metres can be installed without the need for full planning permission.

"It cannot be right that residents are subject to more stringent planning controls over their own porches and conservatories than mobile phone companies are over masts that affect the whole area," Mr Burstow said.

A council spokesman said there would be an opportunity for residents to present their petition at the Cheam and Worcester Park area committee on Wednesday, July 20.

3:06pm Thursday 14th July 2005
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