This is Staffordshire

12:00 - 20 August 2005 A Planning inspector has been called in to rule whether a mobile phone mast should be installed opposite a village shop. T-Mobile has appealed against the refusal of its application for a 12-metre mobile phone mast opposite the Spar Shop in Clayton Road, Clayton, to the planning inspectorate.

The company made the move after borough councillors in Newcastle ignored the advice of planners to refuse permission for the mast because it would harm the character of the area.

Mother-of-three Gillian Powell, of Lincoln Avenue, was outraged by the mast proposal, fearing possible health risks associated with the equipment.

She said her bid to keep mobile phones away from her children until they are teenagers will be defeated if the mast is put so close to their home.

Mrs Powell said: "I didn't even know they could appeal, so I was totally gob-smacked when I was told. It seems as if we've wasted our time because it doesn't look as if the company is particularly bothered that local people don't want it. I just hope the Planning Inspectorate takes our petition into account and hopefully they'll receive some more letters of protest."

Rene Bosley, of Thirlmere Place, Clayton, organised a 291-name petition against the Clayton mast and thought she had seen the last of the plans.

She said: "I'm very disappointed. We thought that with the committee turning it down then we wouldn't have any worries over this one. A lot of people are apathetic but the number of people who signed the petition shows the strength of feeling there is against it."

Clayton councillor Ann Heames said: "I'm not very happy about this because nobody wants the mast. I'd urge everybody to write in against it, as this might be their only opportunity to have a say."

In making the application T-Mobile said such masts are needed to improve the service.

A company spokesman said: "T-Mobile operates a low power radio network and our base stations therefore need to be located in the areas they are required to serve.

"Increasingly, people are also using mobiles in their homes and this means we need to position base stations in or close to residential areas.

"The site in question is in a commercial area, as far away from houses as possible in the neighbourhood. T-Mobile is satisfied that its mobile base stations, operating within national and international guidelines, are safe and do not present health risks to any member of the public."

Omega this is not true: Mobile base stations do present health risks. See e.g. "MOBILE PHONE MASTS: The Awful TRUTH About Their Effects On Your HEALTH" under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/912897/

* Residents can send their comments, before September 16, to the Planning Inspectorate, 3/07 Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN, quoting reference APP/P3420/A/05/1186362.



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August 2005

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