Cut off plans for phone mast say angry locals

Calling out for change? Crystal Palace Station is a Grade II listed building which O2 is planning to put a phone mast on.

A much-loved and listed building could soon be defaced by a phone mast, Crystal Palace residents fear writes Cara Lee.

Mobile phone giant O2 has plans to erect the phone mast on Crystal Palace Station, a Grade II listed building.

Resident Denise Marsh said: "Being a mother to three young children, I am seriously concerned about the effects that emissions from the phone mast could have on my children's long-term health.

"I fear that it could be a ticking time bomb and that radiation from the transmitter could cause cancer."

Gill Basset, who lives near to the station, added: "I don't understand why the mast couldn't go somewhere else, rather than on a listed building."

Chairman of the Crystal Palace Community Association, John Payne, said: "The station is within a conservation area so shouldn't be used to promote something potentially harmful to the environment.

"It was built in the 1860s and underwent a refurbishment costing £4.5million only two years ago so it's such a shame to ruin the building with a mast."

Though health problems have not been proven to be caused by the presence of mobile phone masts, the Government accepts there is need for more research.

Planning permission can still be refused for masts for the usual planning reasons, if it is considered to be out-of-keeping with the area or to look ugly. “Being a mother to three young children, I am seriously concerned about the effects that emissions from the phone mast could have on my children’s long-term health." Denise Marsh

However, some locals seem to have accepted the idea of a new phone mast. "It's just another part of the modernisation of Crystal Palace," said Palace resident Rob Downie. "There's no proof that it will cause harmful side effects. I'm not worried about it at all."

Jim Stevenson, O2's community liaison officer for London, said: "There is a demand to improve network coverage in Crystal Palace because the demands of the area are growing quickly.

Ultimately, the proposals for this new mast will benefit our customers, whose needs we must try to satisfy.

"We will make sure that the mast fits in with the current environment," he added. "The design of the mast will be carefully considered and it will be in no way an eyesore."

As for allegations about the safety of the mast, Mr Stevenson said: "O2 is completely satisfied with the results from scientific studies which prove that emissions from masts are not dangerous to nearby residents."

He also maintained that phone users will come to no harm from using their mobiles.

Omega this is not true. See under:

According to Mr Stevenson, the company is still going through the planning stages to build the mast and, if it the proposals go ahead, work is likely to start later this year and will take approximately a week to complete.

11:14am today

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