26
Jul
2005

MAST VICTORY AS BID HALTED

Exeter Express and Echo
BY KERRA MADDERN

12:00 - 26 July 2005

City residents are celebrating after winning a fight to stop a mobile phone mast being built near their homes. Communications firm Hutchison 3G wanted to build a 12-metre mast on the junction of Leypark Road and Hill Barton Road in Whipton.

It would have been near hundreds of homes, the Whipton Community Hospital, the Honeylands Children's Centre and three schools.

But last night councillors on the city's development control committee refused Hutchison permission to build the mast amid massive opposition to the scheme.

Local residents, concerned about the potential health impact of the structure, formed the protest group WAM - Whipton Against Masts.

Last night councillors sided with residents, saying the mast would be too high and would damage the surrounding environment.

Laurence Davey, one of the founders of WAM, was delighted with the decision.

"This is a victory," he said. "It has been very hard because we had to organise ourselves very quickly because Exeter City Council didn't give us a lot of time to object."

Stephanie Browning, a Leypark Road resident and another founder of WAM, said: "This has been hard work but it's worth it.

"We are so worried about the health of the children living nearby." During the meeting Whipton councillor Peter Edwards and Mr Davey spoke against the mast.

Three councillors voted for the application and five against it. There were two abstentions. Cllr Yolonda Henson said: "I think there are other places this mast could be sited rather than a built-up area."

Hutchison 3G had said the mast needed to be close to the built-up area so it would provide good coverage for local users.

Paul Brockway, from Hutchison 3G's agents White and Green, told councillors the mast would not pose any danger to the health of people living nearby.

"The output of energy from the mast will be 3,481 times below the recommended Government guidelines," he said.

Omega see "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk" under:
//omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/


"It has been proved by Government reports you are more at risk from making calls."
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