We don't want masts near our homes

KATIE COOPER
14 February 2007 11:34

The public has given a huge thumbs down to phone companies after an investigation around the Thorpe St Andrew area showed families were against masts being set up.

Out of the 116 people polled by campaigners, only one person wanted more masts for better phone network coverage and 10pc of people wanted all the existing ones torn down.

Anti-phone mast campaigners, led by Andy Street, targeted an area of Thorpe St Andrew which has already been earmarked for a phone mast and asked families their opinions.

Mr Street said: "We hope the survey will give both councils some help in making their decisions. About 10pc of the people we talked to wanted the masts removed completely."

The site, on the verge of Dussindale Drive, Thorpe St Andrew, was earmarked for a mast last year but the original application was refused by Broadland District Council.

But mobile phone company O2, which had proposed the 12.5m mast, launched an appeal and overturned the original ruling.

Angry campaigners launched the survey while two similar plans are in the pipeline for the area - T Mobile wants to install a 12m mast and associated equipment and cabinets at the junction of Ring Road and Pound Lane and Vodafone has just finished a pre-application consultation on plans to put six dishes on the existing St William's Way mast.

The survey showed that 85pc of residents wanted no more masts.

The group presented its findings to Thorpe St Andrew Town Council's planning sub-committee on Monday and hopes to widen its net to take in more streets in the area.

The group also plans to submit more of its findings to the Broadland planning committee on Thursday 15 February, where they will be considering applications for more phone masts in the area.

A spokesman for Broadland District Council said: "We are aware of residents' concerns and take into consideration representations from members of the public.

"But this information would not be accepted in a planning meeting and we would say to members of the public who want to make this sort of objection, to visit our chief executive.

"All applications for phone masts are considered on their own merit and existing masts in the area would have little bearing on this."

The Evening News thrust the issue of mobile phone masts firmly into the public spotlight with its Put Masts on Hold campaign.

Put Our Masts on Hold opposes installing mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe.

Are you fighting against a mobile phone mast Call reporter Katie Cooper on 01603 772326 or e-mail katie.cooper @archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2007 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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