Row over new Arsenal stadium phone masts

nlnews@archant.co.uk

12 April 2006

ARSENAL are on another collision course with residents over plans for 32 phone masts on the new Emirates Stadium.

Club bosses have given the go-ahead to mobile giants Orange, Vodaphone, O2, Hutchison and T-Mobile to put up masts in eight different positions on the roof of their new Ashburton Grove home.

The firms have now applied to Islington Council for planning permission for the controversial masts - causing uproar among people living close to the 60,000-seater ground.

Kirsten Teague, 36, who lives in Drayton Park and is recovering from M.E., said she was horrified when she opened the consultation letter alerting her to the plans.

"I was shocked because I'm aware of the adverse health implications of just one phone mast, let alone 32," she said. "I've got a compromised immune system and I'm really afraid for my own health and that of other residents.

"If readers want to help stop this from happening they should write to the council as soon as they can - this can only be stopped if the council say so."

Arsenal would only confirm that the applications have been submitted to the council for consideration.

But they have come under fire from residents' campaign group, Stadium Neighbours Action Group (Snag), whose members are still furious Arsenal were given the green light to park coaches in residential streets last month.

Snag's Chris Eisen, of Drayton Park, Holloway, said: "If they can't kill us with the coach fumes they are going to radiate us with phone masts. Why don't they just do compulsory orders on all us residents and bulldoze the whole area.

"The main problems associated with phone masts are leukaemia, brain haemorrhages and cancer. Mobile phone companies are trying to ensure themselves against claims but the insurance companies won't go anywhere near them.

"Arsenal will do anything for money and I'm sure the council will just roll over and let them."

A council spokesman said: "Our consultation is still on-going and no decision has been made on these planning applications.

"We know the issue can raise strong feelings in local communities - that's why all mast applications are carefully assessed for visual impact and must meet Government health guidelines. Wherever possible we seek to reduce the impact of masts on local people.

Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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