Anger after mast ruling is overturned

Long-time resident says she will probably sell up due to health fears

By Debbie Leigh

RESIDENTS are furious after the Government overturned a decision by Leeds City Council to refuse planning permission for a mobile phone mast.

A government inspector dismissed the health fears of residents in Roundhay living near the BP Gledhow Service Station on Roundhay Road, where the 12-metre mast will be installed. They are bitterly disappointed at the decision.

Nazreen Ahmed who has lived near the site for more than 20 years said she was so horrified by the potential health risks she would probably move house.

Mrs Ahmed, who lives at Well House Drive with her husband, mother-in-law and two young children said: "I'm worried about all the radiation you hear about and it will affect us directly as we are not too far away from it.

Overrule

"If it does go up we will be strongly considering moving house. Why have a local planning department and procedures if the Government is just going to overrule the decision? If it's not right for the local authority the Government shouldn't interfere."

The application by T-Mobile was refused in September last year after local councillors raised concerns about the health threat and the impact of the mast on the appearance and character of the area.

But an inspector allowed an appeal by T-Mobile and has now approved the plan.

Coun Valerie Kendall (Con, Roundhay) said: "With the effect on public health unclear, residents are understandably concerned. However when it comes to phone masts this case shows that the Govermnent can simply push those local concerns to one side in favour of big business with the stroke of a pen."

Other residents living near the site said they were worried by the decision.
Mohammed Rashid moved to Well House Gardens three weeks ago and said he would have objected to the plan if he had known about it. He said: "My son suffered from eczema and I have heard phone masts are not very good for eczema sufferers."

Under planning rules, a mobile phone operator is entitled to appeal a decision to an Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.


Talkback

What are your specific health fears with regard to phone masts?
Call 0113 238 8152. (Lines open 24 hours.)
Or write to: Talkback,
Yorkshire Evening Post,
Wellington Street,
Leeds LS1 1RF.
E-Mail: eped@ypn.co.uk
Text: NEWSDESK then message up to 160 characters to 83070

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