Families' phone mast fight

PETER WALSH
16 February 2007 08:48

Families were horrified to discover a mobile phone mast could be installed near their homes, a community pub - and a 12-apartment development which has yet to be built.

Telecommunications giant T-Mobile has submitted plans to build the mast, with associated equipment cabinets, next to the King Edward VII pub on Aylsham Road, Norwich.

The site is close to homes, sheltered housing at Edmund Bacon Court, the Royal British Legion's branch headquarters and is also just across the road from Aylsham Road Motor Company - which is to be developed into flats by the end of the year.

Deborah Judge, who has lived on Aylsham Road for the past 25 years, said she was “appalled” at plans for the mast so close to people's homes and would be opposing it.

“That's absolutely unacceptable - it's a disaster,” she said. “The health issues have not been proven either way, but you can't just take risks with these sorts of things.

“It's going to make the price of the property drop dramatically - it's absolutely dreadful.”

Damon Aspland, a sales manager at Aylsham Road Motor Company, which is just across the road from the pub where the mast would be put said he did not think it was suitable for the area - particularly with apartments due to be built on the site.

“If I was thinking about buying one of those flats going here it would be a no-no,” he said. “I just think its technology which hasn't been proven and they are using people like us as guinea pigs.” Mr Aspland, who lives in the Bowthorpe area, said he thinks masts should be sited away from people. The Evening News has campaigned against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe.

Dr Ian Gibson, MP for Norwich North, said: “It's a fight that's going on everywhere. I'm still waiting to hear what the new planning laws will say about it, but the government are prevaricating and should just go for it.”

A spokesman for T-Mobile said the mast was needed to provide a “quality service”. “Without mobile phone base stations, mobile phones simply do not work,” he said. “All of our installations comply with stringent national and international guidelines.”

Are you fighting a mobile phone mast where you live? Call Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2007 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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