4
Aug
2005

Protesters force mobile firm to think again

The Argus, West Sussex

Protesters campaigning against a mobile phone mast have forced a company to look for another site.

Seventy people opposed to 02's plans to construct a 15m mast outside the Norwich Union building, Worthing, stormed the company's drop-in session, designed to explain the plans to the public.

It withdrew its application to erect the mast just north of the Broadwater roundabout from Worthing Borough Council two weeks ago for further public consultation but has now gone back to the drawing board.

The protest at Broadwater Parish Rooms on Tuesday evening was organised by the Charmandean, Offington and Broadwater Residents' Association, which was set up in response to the plans.

Residents are worried about the mast being built within close proximity of homes, fears over health and environmental issues and the impact on property prices.

02 community relations manager James Stevenson said: "Given the level of protest we have to take it seriously and we are going to look in the area again for an alternative site which we can take to the local planners."

He explained a base station was necessary to provide 02 customers with third generation (3G) services and it was impossible to erect it alongside the Orange mast further in Worthing because there was not enough room.

Campaigner Erwin Sargent, 51, said: "We put a lot of effort into organising the protest and it went very well, showing up the plan's inadequacies and the level of concern in the community."
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