Hundreds join phone mast campaign
20 April 2006
Katie Davies

HUNDREDS of Hampstead Garden Suburb residents have joined a campaign to stop a phone mast going up in a park.

Orange's application for a 3G mast on Ossulton Way will be heard by Barnet Council on Thursday but 700 residents are calling for it to be turned down.

Louise Chait, a leading protestor and mother of two, said: "I think everyone in the neighbourhood was shocked by Orange's application and we have all reacted very strongly to it.

"I think we all appreciate the need for mobile phone masts, however barring their placement at a hospital or school site, this is about as insensitive an application as you could ever imagine."

Caroline Maurice, who lives opposite Ossulton Green, said: "This mast will most definitely detract from what is something of a local beauty spot - and let's not forget this is a Conservation Area where you can't even change the colour of your front door without permission.

"Apart from looking at odds with the trees around it, the equipment box will be a target for both graffiti and vandalism. I would not feel at all comfortable about my children playing in the vicinity of the mast - and Ossulton Green is so small that it would be inevitable. Nobody has yet definitively been able to say that these masts are safe."

Meanwhile West Hampstead campaigners are complaining that communications giant Vodafone is upgrading equipment without permission.

Three years ago the mobile phone company won the right to put up a 13-metre mast and base station in Iverson Road, West Hampstead despite opposition from residents.

But last week workmen put in a new station to upgrade the mast so it could provide a 3G service (third-generation technology to support video clips and internet access).

Stephen Jones, who lives in Iverson Road, said: "Interesting that commoners like us need planning permission for any extensions to our homes yet apparently the telecom people can lay a 5ft slab of concrete and install a huge cabinet on it without permission.

"We have purchased a special radiation meter and it is now going berserk in our bedrooms, which are only 50 metres away from the mast."

Residents claim planning permission is needed to upgrade equipment for mobile phone masts.

But a Vodafone spokeswoman said the company is complying with international guidelines.

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

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