21
Sep
2005

Chiefs approve mobile phone mast on Bronglais Hospital despite protests

ABERYSTWYTH

Health officials were accused this week of siding with Britain’s newest mobile phone network in an escalating row over construction of a controversial base-station on the roof of Bronglais Hospital.

NHS trust chiefs approved Hutchison 3G’s multi-media mast despite furious protests by residents following new evidence that base-station radiation affects brain-waves and can seriously damage health. The phone company last week began installing the mast on the hospital roof in the face of a flood of objections by people living nearby and by Ceredigion AM Elin Jones and MP Mark Williams. Local health officials gave the go-ahead without reference to the trust board and in defiance of new evidence from Austria and Holland about the possible dangers of third-generation (3G) transmission.

Three Dutch government ministries found signals from 3G masts could cause headaches and nausea, while an Austrian study warned of “serious consequences” for public health. Town councillor Sue Jones-Davies, who has taken up the residents’ case and says protests will continue, said: “Why are they being allowed to put something as controversial as this on something as sensitive as a hospital? “No-one can put their hands on their hearts and say such masts are safe. This is a public building, and the public have said clearly they do not want it here, yet their wishes are being dismissed. “Instead of listening to its near neighbours here in Aberystwyth, the NHS trust is acting in a way that obliges the shareholders of a multinational company.”

The contract with Hutchison, owned by the Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, was approved by trust chief executive Allison Williams. She claims the mast will earn only a “very small” amount of money for the trust, which is about £1.4 million in the red, but has refused to reveal details of the deal. In July she told the Cambrian News the contract with Hutchison could be cancelled if protests continued.

Residents continued to say they were worried radio waves from the mast could damage their health, but last week the company confirmed engineers had now begun to instal its three antennae and two dishes on the hospital roof. Hutchison, who say all their sites operate well below international radiation emission guideline levels, claimed residents did not answer letters sent out as part of a public consultation exercise.

Omega see "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?"
//omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/


Residents say they never received the letters. Earlier, Ms Williams declined to comment on why the trust had not acted on its assurance that the mast contract could be cancelled if protests continued. She also remained silent on why the trust was continuing to co-operate with Hutchison for the sake of “very small” earnings , while refusing to heed residents’ concerns over a development which focused not on basic or emergency communication but merely on entertainment through audio and video-clip services. She said: “At the time of signing the contract we were not aware of any concerns having been raised by the local residents. We had been reassured that the consultation had been carried out.”

Hutchison regional corporate affairs manager Verity Stanford told the Cambrian News: “The hospital is ideally located to provide coverage to the east end of the town. All our installations operate at fractions of the international public emissions standards. “There is no proven evidence that masts or mobile phones that operate to guidelines cause adverse health effects."

Omega this is not true. See under:
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//omega.twoday.net/search?q=Cancer+Cluster
//www.buergerwelle.de/body_science.html


A couple who spent their life savings on a doomed two-year battle over a Hutchison mast face financial ruin after being presented with a claim for £400,000 in legal costs. Agnes Ingvarsdottir, 61, her husband, Ericur Petursson, 63, and their son, Neils Erickson, 42, claimed that they began to suffer nausea, headaches, tinnitus and cardiovascular disease after the telecommunications company installed the mast on the roof of a restaurant opposite their home in Worcester. But their attempt to prove that the mast caused the symptoms was thrown out by the High Court and they were instructed to pay Hutchison 3G’s legal costs, which amount to £407,398. The company said that it had offered the family numerous opportunities to settle out of court. ‘Company erected Parcyllyn mast in the dead of night!’ A CEREDIGION County councillor has said he feels like taking a chainsaw to a 15 metre telecommunications mast which he claims was erected near houses at Parcyllyn, Aberystwyth, overnight.

Cllr Paul James told colleagues on the authority’s planning committee that the mast which is not used by TETRA - had nevertheless been put up without consultation with any of the people living in the vicinity of Country Stores. In a blazing attack on the applicants Hutchison 3G, Cllr James urged the authority to throw out their application to operate over a 12-month period. “Personally I would like to take a chainsaw to this thing,” he said. “This company came under cover of darkness like some sort of commando unit and erected this15 metre mast in the dead of night. The first thing local residents knew of it was when they looked out of their windows the next morn-ing. “This mast is a distraction to motorists and could cause an accident - instead of looking at the road motorists are looking at the mast.”

Cllr James made his comments after hearing planning officer Ritchie Williams read out letters from local residents who pointed out there were three schools and an Ysgol Feithrin in the vicinity whose views regard-ing the mast were never sought. Mr Williams pledged to canvas opinion among the nearby schools. He said: “I have no problem with this mast on visual grounds. This application is a temporary one, so any harm to amenities would be reversible.” But Cllr James drew the committee’s atten-tion to the existence of a 116-name petition calling on the county council to get the mast removed and added that Llanbadarn com-munity council had also raised objections. “The pictures we are looking at do not show how close this mast is to people’s gar-dens,” he maintained. “The report says 40m, but I would say 20m. This mast was put up without any prior permission.”

His sentiments were echoed by Cllr Dai Suter who spoke of his anger at the way Hutchison 3G had operated. “I cannot understand the arrogance of the people who put these things up without going through the proper procedures,” he said. “People should be told you cannot erect these masts and expect to get away with it. They need to be taught a lesson.”

And Cllr Lyndon Lloyd commented: “There’s a coach and horses being driven through this committee by this operator. We do not seem to have any control over these people whatsoever.”

Cllr Suter also expressed scepticism that the mast would be a temporary one. He said: “We have all seen examples of things that were put up temporarily 10 or 15 years ago. “We are here to defend residents and I think the people responsible for this mast should be kicked into touch - big time.

Mr Williams reminded councillors that their job was not to teach applicants ‘a lesson’ but to consider each planning application on its merits. It was agreed to refer the matter to the site inspection panel.
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