Keep 50ft mobile mast off our street

Jul 31 2006

By Rob Davies, Daily Post

Residents of Hen Fuarth

MOBILE phone giant O2 is planning a 50ft transmitter mast in the middle of a built-up area of North Wales and promise more to come.

The proposed mast on the grass verge of Pen y Maes Road, Holywell, would be near primaryschools and the town's community hospital.

Last night a storm of protest met the proposals but unrepentant phone bosses say such masts will increasingly be needed in the heart of urban areas.

Demand for mobile phones continues to soar, fuelled by increasing numbers of people ditching traditional land lines and relying solely on their mobile, said O2 spokeswoman Angela Johnson.

"The coverage will be OK now but the new mast will be to take into account future additional capacity for the area," she said.

"The more people use their mobile phones the more masts we need and by the nature of the technology they are very low-powered transmitters, so they have to be close to where people use their phones.

"Unfortunately we can't put them on the mountains like TV masts, we transmit at 60watts, not a million watts.

"More and more are people not having land lines at home and are relying solely on their mobiles so masts are going into residential areas right through the country."

She added radio waves from such masts were less than 2% of the total radio frequency emissions in the area.

All electrical equipment, such as TV sets, radios and microwave ovens gave out radio waves and there was no evidence to show phone masts had any adverse effect on health, she claimed.

Details of a planning application for the proposed phone mast were sent out to nearby residents by Flintshire County Council.

Pensioner Bryn Richards of Hen Fuarth, who lives across the road from the planned mast site, said he feared for the health of his 65-year-old wife Lorna, chronically ill with cancer.

The 68-year-old said: "I am very worried about it. My wife has been ill for seven years and this could make her condition even worse.

"Why do they want to build it there? There are three schools and a hospital in the vicinity.

"Young children will be climbing this damn thing. All the residents here are very worried about it. We are all elderly and some people have just come out of hospital.

"Who wants a 50-foot mast right outside their front door? It isn't fair on the residents or the kids going to school.

Mr Richards and neighbours plan to lobby Flintshire council demanding they throw out the proposals.

Business is booming

MOBILE phones, around for 20 years now, are tiny compared to the early days - with more and more in use.

Figures from Ofcom show there are now more mobile phone subscriptions in the UK than people - at 62.5m.

Around 80% of adults use mobiles and revenues from all telecoms services in the last 12 months were £37.2 billion - 6% higher than the previous year.

Meanwhile, fixed-line revenues fell to £10.3b - down by 9% compared with the previous 12 months.

Mobile phones don't work without base stations, commonly known as 'masts'. Without them, a call cannot be made and they need to be where people use their phones.

Whether phones and 'masts' pose a health risk has long been debated.

In May 2000, an independent expert group chaired by Sir William Stewart concluded the balance of evidence to date did not suggest mobile technologies cause adverse health effects.

Omega this is not true. See under:

However, the Stewart Report called for more research to fill gaps in scientific knowledge and for a precautionary approach to be adopted.

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Plc 2006



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