FEARS OVER PLANS FOR PHONE MASTS

MOBILE phone mast fears doubled this week when residents heard a mobile company submitted not one but two planning applications.
Vodaphone wants to put a 3G mast around 16 metres high on Willingdon Golf Club course.

Neighbours, some suffering from cancer and many fearing the associated health risks of living near a mast, had already written more than 80 letters of objection, but got a shock this week when they saw two proposals.

But it is understood that the company is hoping one of the two will be approved by Eastbourne Borough Council, not both.

Objectors now face the battle of collecting petitions once again to meet the specifics of both mast applications.

They take the form of a pole mast and a tree mast, the latter aiming to fit in with the wooded surroundings

Naomi Markwick, of Millbrook Gardens, has been leading the collection of written objections from her road, Colwood Crescent, plus Hill Road and others to submit to the borough council.

She said, "The tree mast is totally the wrong sort of species of tree for the area so the attempt to make the thing fit in would fail."

The site is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mrs Markwick said, "There's quite a lot of rare wildlife there and it backs on to ancient woodland and such areas in Britain are few and far between."

The prospect of a second mast plan brought the main issue to the forefront again — objectors feel the health risks are overwhelming.

Mrs Markwick said, "There is a baby with leukaemia who is living next to the site and a number of people with cancer. I myself have a high risk of cancer because members of my family have had cancer and there are other people with immune problems."

Geoffrey Mears, of Downs Avenue, said, "We believe these masts are very dangerous.

"They are extremely hazardous to health."

Mr Mears and others quote anti-phone mast website Mastsanity.co.uk, the main national organisation opposing the insensitive siting of mobile phone and Tetra masts in the UK.

Mr Mears said, "These masts are being planned to go right at the back of a residential area so there will be a lot of people at risk.

"The original application was for one and now that's two the concern has doubled."

He said if the masts are situated on the golf course, it will devalue property in surrounding roads and cause stress to homeowners, "But this is nothing compared to the health risks," he added.

Formal written opposition to the plans must be with EBC planning department before the deadline on May 20.

11 May 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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