Mast fears for busy city street

PETER WALSH
22 March 2006 12:15

A telecommunications giant has created a stir by looking to install a mobile phone mast in one of three possible sites along a busy city street.

City councillors in Norwich's Wensum ward have received letters from 3, formerly Hutchinson 3G, about plans to install a new mast near to the Dereham Road and Ring Road junction.

The communications company has stated that it is currently a trio of sites before submitting a formal planning application.

The sites under consideration are:

Kwik Fit Tyres, 372 Dereham Road.

Gatehouse pub, Dereham Road.

Dereham Road / Hellesdon Road junction.

The news will come as a blow to families living in the area many of whom feel that Norwich has more than enough masts as it is.

Ken Hollingsworth, 67, who lives opposite the Gatehouse pub in Dereham Road, said he did not want a mobile phone mast installed so near his home.

“It's perhaps an eyesore for people who want to look over the meadow,” said Mr Hollingsworth.

The former Hellesdon Hospital worker also said although he did not know much about the possible health effects, it would be a concern if a mast was put there. “I would be against it definitely,” he said.

The Evening News has campaigned against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes until it is proved they are safe for years through our Put Masts on Hold campaign.

But it is not just people who live in the area that should be concerned about the mast, but also people that work there too according to one city councillor.

“The sites in question are all close to people's work places,” said Rupert Read, city councillor for Wensum ward.

“We often think of sites near to homes or schools but sites near work places are of concern. People spend eight or nine hours a day in a work place which could end up to a cumulative effect.”

Mr Read said network coverage in Norwich was “adequate” as it was and did not feel another site.

“We believe that the additional health risks are not worth it and Norwich doesn't need any more phone masts,” he said.

“We've got this policy of saying there should be a moratorium on new mobile phone masts.”

In February 2003 the Evening News reported how people living near a park on Dereham Road rallied against plans 3 had for a 12.5metre mast.

The mobile phone giant had asked the city council for permission to put up the mast next to Bowthorpe Park which is home for Norwich Powerleague where youngsters and adults play five-a-side football.

Families argued there was already a mast yards away from the proposed new one and another on the roof of the nearby Wagon and Horses pub.

And in November 2001 we reported how a controversial mobile phone mast had finally gone up near to the Earl of Leicester pub on Dereham Road despite a fight to stop it.

Phone firm One2One started building the 10 metre mast in the grounds of the pub after council officials failed to inform the firm its application had been rejected within the 42 day deadline.

Anyone who has any comments for 3 on its plans for the sites above can contact them on 0845 604 3000 or via //www.three.co.uk .

Are you fighting plans for a mobile phone mast in your neighbourhood? Call Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on (01603) 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk.

The Norfolk Jumbo Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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