Mast plan gets poor reception

A PEOPLE-POWER campaign against a phone mast in Kimberley has sent the mobile phone company packing in less than two weeks.

Phone operators 02 UK's latest bid to errect a base station behind a newsagent on High Spania became public knowledge on May 13.

Residents sprang into action and distributed 2,000 letters to homes within a 500 metre radius of the mast.

Yesterday the company formally withdrew their pre-planning application.

Resident Shelley Facey said: "We mounted a full campaign straight away. It would have been hideous.

"I know the mobile phone companies say there is no proven health reports but you know there will be. Health was a huge issue.

"It's just the way these mobile phone companies go about things - they sneakily put these stickers up that no one knows about."

Kimberley and Cossall councillor Richard Robinson said: "It's in a very heavily populated area with a lot of schoolchildren and it was very near an electricty pylon.

"It has caused an enormous stir in Kimberley over the last week. At the latest count I've had over 200 letters of objection, e-mails and phone calls relating to this matter.

"The residents wrote to MP Nick Palmer. They have done most of the work, the credit should go to them."

The landowner who was initially approached by 02 UK to use his land as a site for the mast, withdrew his permission after the weight of public opinion became apparent.

Now residents are braced for another round with the mobile firm.

Mrs Facey said: "A month ago 02 did try and get one at the top of Cliff Boulevard but they were overturned. Hardly anyone knew about it.

"There will be a website set up just to make everyone aware of the dangers of these base stations in residential areas.

"We're almost expecting another sign to go up."

02 UK said they were currently investigating whether they will apply for another mast in the area or if they can use an existing site to provide coverage.

26 May 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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