Church court will rule on plans for phone mast

By Mark Killiner

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a phone mast in a church near a school were discussed in a special church court pre-hearing.

The proposals to install a T-Mobile base station in the spire of SS Peter and Paul Church on the Green, Chingford, 50m from St Mary's Catholic School, have met with huge opposition from parents, children and teachers.

They are concerned about possible health risks associated with phone masts. continued...

A Consistory Court, which rules on issues connected with the church, met at the church for a directions hearing on Tuesday to establish the procedure for the full hearing next month.

During proceedings, which were presided over by George Pulman QC of the Consistory of the Diocese of Chelmsford, QS4, the company behind the mast and the vicar and wardens of the church were told they would have to present evidence supporting the plan at the full hearing.

Steve Turner, of Willow Street, Chingford, will be opposing the plans after it was established that those opposed to the mast could not afford legal representation.

He said: "I think it is undemocratic that local people should have to pay to take part in a process which could affect theirs and their children's health."

Mr Pulman explained he needed evidence to be presented in a coherent way that would best serve the interests of both parties.

Both sides agreed there should be another consultation process so a drop-in session was organised to give residents the chance to consider evidence and air their views.

Mr Turner said: "The hearing went well. We requested another consultation because so many people had no idea of the plans after the first consultation and we've got it."

The consultation drop-in takes place at the church on Saturday, July 8, and the Consistory Hearing will be held there on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18 and 19.

9:00am today

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