Councillor objects to mast plan

Vodaphone said masts were needed if people wanted phone coverage

A councillor has condemned plans by mobile phone giant Vodafone to erect a communications mast outside a burger restaurant in Aberystwyth.

Paul James said he was concerned that people's health could be affected by the structure which is expected to be about 12 metres high.

He added that it would be too close to homes, schools and businesses.

Vodafone said that the firm operated within set health guidelines regarding masts.

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under:

A spokeswoman added that if people wanted to use mobile phones then masts had to be located nearby.

Last year, Mr James objected to a temporary Hutchinson 3G mobile phone mast in Aberystwyth that had been erected near homes and schools without planning permission.

The company was eventually forced to dismantle it after Ceredigion Council turned down a retrospective planning application in October.

Close to the site of the proposed mast in Aberystwyth
The site, next to a burger restaurant, backs on to houses in Aberystwyth

The latest controversy surrounding mobile phone masts in the town, centres on an area known locally as Parc-y-Llyn in Llanbadarn Fawr.

Mr James said: "The site is in close proximity to three schools, together with a considerable number of domestic residences and businesses. One of these businesses having this mast situated right outside its premises.

"All these have the potential of being affected and it certainly is important that they learn more about this development."

He added that people were still concerned about health issues and until there was conclusive evidence that masts were safe "we have to take a cautionary approach".

But Jane Frapwell of Vodafone said: "If we want to use mobile phones, and lots do, we have to have masts nearby."

She added: "The further you are from a mast the harder the handset has to work and thus the higher levels of electromagnetic fields, if it's electromagnetic fields Mr James is concerned about."

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