21
Aug
2005

O2 FIGHTS BID TO MONITOR RADIO WAVES

Bath Chronicle

11:00 - 19 August 2005

Mobile phone giant O2 is lobbying Bath and North East Somerset Council in an effort to scrap a rule which says it must monitor radio waves near a prestigious Bath college. The telecommunications firm has three antennae on the roof of Multiyork furniture store in York Place, off London Road.

The company was granted permission for the masts in 2004, but planners said the company must hire an independent expert to monitor the site.

O2 said this was highly irregular, and has appealed to planning inspectors at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) to overturn the decision.

Company spokesman Jim Stevenson said: "It is an unusual condition to place on us. We do not know about it being placed on any other company anywhere in the country.

"It is to ensure we fall within the international standards, which we do anyway, so it is totally unnecessary. If they continue to do it, they will have more than O2 appealing against it."

In 2003, phone giant, Vodafone was granted planning permission for three pole-mounted antennae on the same roof site, which is next to The Porter Butt pub and near Norland College.

The college, whose nanny graduates are favoured by the rich and famous, objected amid fears about the long-term impact on the brain from exposure to mobile phone waves and 3G technology.

This July, planners gave the green light to Hutchinson 3G for a base station with two flagpoles, antenna and a dish on the same site.

A council planning officer said planners were looking to impose the condition on all future planning applications for telecommunications equipment as part of its draft plan.

Anyone wishing to comment on the appeal should write to The Planning Inspectorate, 3/25 Hawk Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, B31 6PN, quoting reference APP/F0114/05/A/1186745 by Wednesday, September 21.
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