Group will keep an eye on phone masts

By Lynn Jackson

MOBILE phone mast campaigners in Dorset have joined forces with other activists across the south to keep track of any bids to put up new masts.

The new watchdog group, Wessex Registry of Active Masts (WRAM), aims to keep tabs on planning applications in Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey and monitor mast locations.

Members are urging anyone who wants to be kept up-to-date with mast developments to get in touch. continued...

Campaigners in Bournemouth who fought mobile phone masts in Moordown, Southbourne and Queen's Park, are among those keen to see the group get off the ground.

Many local residents were angry after phone masts slipped through the planning process due to legal blunders by Bournemouth council, or were put up without any warning.

WRAM founder member Karen Barratt, who led a campaign against a phone mast in Hampshire, said the watchdog could be a much stronger force than any individual campaigning against local masts.

She said: "This is all about communication.

"We do not want to be kept in the dark about where current masts are sited or where future masts may be required.

"We will not be telling anyone what they should do.

"If people want to raise objections to any specific site it is their choice, but they are entitled to be properly informed and consulted.

She added: "Too often people are simply unaware."

WRAM hopes to build up a picture of mast developments in the region and also monitor the behaviour of the telecom operators and the performance of local planning authorities.

"We hope to eventually have representatives from councils, schools and community groups," added Karen.

If you want to join the group's mailing list, contact WRAM on mail.wram@ntlworld.com

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