15
Jul
2005

Calls for tougher stance on masts

Jul 14, 2005, 14:46

Mobile phone masts should be subject to stricter planning laws to stop them being built outside schools and houses, the MP for Dudley North has said.

Ian Austin wants the government to bring in extra safeguards for towers planned near schools, homes and medical centres. He also wants fears over possible health concerns addressed.

Under current planning legislation they can only turned down by local councils if masts are considered to have a detrimental impact, either visually or if they affect an area economically by reducing property prices. Authorities cannot currently turn down applications on health grounds.

Mr Austin launched his campaign after hearing that mobile phone giants T-Mobile and Vodafone had submitted applications to build masts near to houses on Setton Road, in Sedgley, and opposite Bramford Primary School, on Tipton Road, in Dudley.

Mr Austin said he shared residents' concerns over the masts and that he wanted to find a solution to the problem that councils have with planning applications.

The MP said: "Residents in Woodsetton and at Milking Bank are very concerned about the proposed new masts.

"I am on their side, I understand their concerns and have received hundreds of responses to lend weight to my call for the council to sling these applications out.

"But I want to find a permanent solution to the problem too, which is why I'm campaigning in Parliament for stricter planning laws and extra safeguards near schools, homes and medical facilities."

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