Anti-mast lobby's 'coward' claim

Mar 9 2006

Weekly News

AN ORGANISATION which has voiced support for anti-mobile phone mast campaigners across Widnes and Runcorn claims the industry has avoided questions on legislation which is set to go through parliament.

Planning Sanity, a partner organ-isation to Mast Sanity, claims the Mobile Phone Industry Trade Association and the Mast Operators Association (MOA) has refused to enter into a public debate on what is being hailed as the most significant telecom legislation ever to go before Parliament.

The MOA, which it claims had earlier indicated its willingness to discuss the bill's detail, has declined an invitation to take part in a public debate involving affected residents and MPs.

Mast Sanity alleges that the director of MOA, Mike Dolan, made the excuse that a public debate 'would not be helpful'.

Chris Maile, Planning Sanity director said: 'Just what is the mast industry afraid of? Are they so concerned that their industry's infrastructure concessions that the Government has granted to them, enabling them to walk over the rights of those affected by their installations often without the ability to challenge, that they cannot stand up and debate with the mast movement the bill's provisions?

'This refusal can only be seen as cowardice.'

Planning Sanity is challenging Mr Dolan to meet its representatives head on in a public forum for a debate about a planning regime which is said to give telecom developers more rights than any other commercial developer.

Planning Sanity and Halton campaigners hope that if the bill proves successful it will strip the mast industry of most of its planning 'privileges'.

It would force the industry to go through the same planning process as everyone else.

Residents claim the Government feels obliged to give companies the right to site masts wherever they please because they the government made billions of pounds from the sale of 3G licences to the industry.

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Plc 2006

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