Mast proposal to face fight

By Colleen McDonnell

Plans to put up a mobile phone mast outside a school in Hampton has caused uproar among councillors and residents who say they are "outrageous".

The mobile phone company O2 sent a letter to Hampton Community College last week to announce that it plans to submit an application to erect a base station outside the school.

The letter from O2 said the mast would be proposed to go up at the junction of Dean Road and Rectory Grove.

Hampton North councillor, Geoffrey Samuel, said: "This is an outrageous proposal.

"The intended site is just opposite the present entrance to the nursery, which will be the main entrance for students when the now-agreed new building opens next year.

"It is all the more deplorable as alternative sites are available."

Cllr Samuel found out about the mast by accident and vowed he would do his best to get the proposal rejected.

He said the owners of flats beside the site have not been notified nor have the residents of Dean Road.

A petition will be organised to ensure the application is rejected.

Hampton resident Catriona Nason co-established Schools and Hospitals Against Mast Emissions (SHAME) to fight the Ashley Road, Hampton, phone mast. SHAME is now a national campaign.

Mrs Nason said: "It is wholly unacceptable to place a mast near children and certainly there are better sites.

"People need to make sure that their local authority knows they do not want this mast.

"Richmond council's planning department are aware of the issues from previous cases, and I cannot believe that they would not block this mast, but they may have their hands tied. It is up to parent power to stop these plans now."

James Stevenson, community relations manager for O2 , said: "We want to improve the network facilities that we have in that area. The area is growing, there are more and more people and more and more people want to have better services. We are putting the mast there to give them a better network service."

Mr Stevenson said O2 would listen to anyone who wishes to contact him with their feelings about the siting of the mast.

9:50am today

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