3
Sep
2005

ANGRY Airedale residents will be meeting mobile phone bosses later this month in a bid to stop plans

Mast row

Pontefract and Castle ford Express

ANGRY Airedale residents will be meeting mobile phone bosses later this month in a bid to stop plans for a 28ft mast in the middle of their estate. More than 500 objectors – backed by MP Yvette Cooper – signed a petition against the mast to be built on a patch of grassland in Elizabeth Drive.

Bosses from Vodafone have now agreed to meet residents at a special drop-in session at Castleford Civic Centre on Wednesday September 21 from 4-7pm. Petition organiser James Dakin, who lives on Elizabeth Drive, said: "A drop-in session suggests Vodafone wants to deal with residents individually instead of as a whole group. It could split people's opinions and we want to tackle the company together. "This is typical of what's happening across the country with these masts. Mobile phone companies and councils just railroad them through despite the potential health risks. I would have expected the council to at least allow us to put in our objections first." Ms Cooper said she had written to Vodafone three times to ask them to consult residents. She added: "I am appalled that Vodafone didn't meet residents before putting their planning application forward, despite having assured me three times that they would. "I am now urging them to conduct a proper consultation before anything goes ahead and that means listening to what residents have to say and not simply coming to talk to them."

A Wakefield Council spokesman said: "Planning permission for the mast was given to Vodafone on August 10. It was a delegated decision so it didn't need to go to full committee."

01 September 2005

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I will be sending this article to Prof Allmendinger who is in charge of the Arup study commissioned by the Government on whether the operators are adhering to the 10 commitments and their other obligations. Sian
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