Parents protest against phone mast ‘disgrace’

09 September 2005
Caroline McClatchey
Hamstead and Highgate Express

A PHONE mast has been erected in Kentish Town to ensure rail commuters get a better reception on their mobiles.

Mobile phone giants Orange installed the mast in a used car lot in Bartholomew Road on Monday morning.

Locals are furious as mobile phone company O2 is planning to install a 10 metre mast on the pavement in Oseney Crescent, yards away from the new mast.

Mother-of-three Annie Moser, of Gaisford Street, who is leading the campaign against the O2 mast, said: "It's disgraceful. This means there will be two masts within yards of each other.

"We didn't even have an opportunity to respond to the Orange mast. It still affects a lot of people. It's irresponsible of Camden Council, which knew about the local opposition to the O2 mast.

"The government is committed to encouraging mobile phone companies to use the same mast and Camden Council should have forced a joint application."

O2 bosses lodged their application after commuters travelling on Silverlink trains near Kentish Town complained of a poor signal.

Jacqueline Sibanda, Orange's community liaison officer, said the firm had complied with the law and notified the council, ward councillors, and the nearby schools - Camden School for Girls and Torriano Infant and Junior.

She said: "The Orange site meets the permitted development requirements as it will have just one antenna and a small cabinet.

"It is part of a wider project at Orange to provide coverage on national rail routes so that commuters are able to use their phones whilst travelling into town or making their way home.

"The target coverage area is the Kentish Town tunnel."

More than 130 residents signed the petition against the O2 mobile phone mast, which will be placed near Cantelowes Gardens park if Camden Council gives it the go- ahead.

Mrs Moser added: "The area is densely populated and the mast will be an eyesore.

"Camden Council doesn't take health grounds as a valid reason to refuse masts but the government does say they need to be cautious about where they site masts.

"Surely a site near three schools is not a good place for a mast."

Camden Council will review the application after the consultation period has ended.



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