16
Sep
2005

We mast prevent this

By Richard Lyons

Sutton Guardian

A community in Carshalton Beeches has united to fight plans for a 3G mobile phone mast outside a church which runs a children's nursery.

The Rev Christopher Wheaton, of the Good Shepherd Church, Gaynesford Road, turned down an offer of £90,000 over 10 years to have a T-Mobile antennae built on church premises.

But, to the fury of residents, the telecommunications company responded by submitting plans for an 11.7m mast and equipment cabinet immediately outside the building.

In a bid to fight the development, a public meeting attended by 48 locals, Tom Brake MP and councillors Lal Hussein and Derek Yeo was held at the church on Wednesday, September 7.

A petition opposing the scheme signed by more than 600 residents will also be sent to Sutton Council, T-Mobile and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

"There are so many children coming to the pre-school on our site five days a week," said Mr Wheaton.

"The church is always seen as a safe place to bring your family and children and there's a perceived danger with mobile phone masts.

"We really feel we should do everything we can to encourage T-Mobile to put their mast in a place where there's less exposure."

Residents had until yesterday to put their objections to Sutton Council and planners have until October 5 to decide whether or not to reject the plans.

One resident, Jay Thanki, 30, of Kings Avenue, said the risks of third generation mobile phone masts were as yet unknown and vowed he would move home if the scheme went ahead.

Mr Thanki who lives with his wife Kinjal, 23, his parents and sister, said: "We are all very concerned. The children at the pre-school are very young and the mast is going to be emitting microwaves.

"My whole family will move if they put the mast up. We are going to get the house valued this week."

A council spokesman said the Government's planning legislation allows mobile phone companies to erect a mast which is under 15 metres without submitting a full planning application.

He said: "This application was for prior approval, which means the council can object to the siting or appearance of the equipment if it does not fit the local character."

10:56am Thursday 15th September 2005
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