23
Jul
2005

FURY AS A NEW MAST IS UNCOVERED

Tamworth Herald

LINDSEY SMITH

10:30 - 21 July 2005

A Mobile phone mast hidden inside a petrol station price sign has caused fury among residents in Coleshill.

The mast, owned by telecommunications giant T-Mobile, is believed to have been placed within the price sign at the Shell garage after residents overturned plans to erect it at the BT telephone exchange in the town centre in 2001.

Now residents plan to stage a public protest at the High Street service station on Saturday (July 23), amid demands that mobile phone companies become 'more transparent'.

More than 300 residents have written to mast owner T-Mobile and to Shell UK following the mast's discovery, which came to light when residents concerned about the growing number of masts in Coleshill looked up the locations of all the local masts on a government telecommunications website.

Diane Upton, who lives just off the High Street in Wood Close, says she's appalled with the mobile phone company.

"Considering operators are always telling us masts are completely safe it seems a little odd to have to resort to hiding one in a petrol station sign," she told the Herald.

"We've had a letter from T-Mobile saying that the mast is harmless but I don't believe it. I've got rashes and my husband's just been diagnosed with throat cancer."

Coleshill Cllr Gordon Sherratt was on the parish council which objected to the height of the mast four years ago.

"I remember they tried to get a mast put up at the BT exchange and people objected, so they pulled out.

"Then the garage applied for planning permission for a new sign. We thought it was too tall and tried to object on those grounds but there was definitely nothing about there being a mast inside it."
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