Neighbours face new mast fight

ANGRY neighbours are gearing up to fight a phone-mast battle they thought was won three years ago.

A plan to put up a 15m mobile phone mast at Carrville, on the outskirts of Durham City, was thrown out in 2003 in the wake of protests from people living nearby.

But phone company Hutchinson 3G says it has been unable to find an alternative site and has again applied to site a mast on open ground near the junction of the A1(M) and A690, next to what is now one of the Durham's park and ride car parks.

People living on the nearby housing estate, which includes the streets of Carrsdale, Dene Drive and Fallsway, say they will fight the plan once more.

"They have already got a mast at Durham City football club," said a residents' spokeswoman. "So we don't see why they need one here.
"They are talking about screening, but the trees are deciduous so there won't be any cover in the winter.

"We still have concerns about the impact on health from mobile phones. The technology has not been around that long, so how can they say there is not a problem?"

Hutchinson 3G's corporate affairs manager, Michael Alexander, said other sites had proved unsuitable and the mast was needed because the company had received complaints from customers about lack of coverage.
Mr Alexander added: "According to the World Health Organisation, there is no convincing evidence that weak radio signals cause any harm to health.

Omega this is not true. See under:

"We are taking about doing some planting around the equipment cabinets to reduce the visual impact, and we hope to arrange a meeting with residents to discuss their concerns."

The application will be considered by Durham City Council's planning committee on a date to be fixed.

15 July 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.



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