People power topples plans for mobile mast

By Jo Rostron

PEOPLE power has won the day in a Leeds suburb after plans for a 15-metre mobile phone mast were rejected by the city council.

Johanne Walters was one of a stream of opponents to the mast, fearing it could trigger health troubles for her two-year-old daughter, Emma, who has Down's syndrome.

T-Mobile was behind plans to site the mast on green belt land near Cookridge Hall Golf Club.

But Leeds City Council said the mast would be "highly prominent" and "intrusive."

Mrs Walters, of Hawthorne Gardens, told the YEP: "I first objected due to the fact something that tall would be an eyesore and spoil the lovely view.

"But the fact it is for T-Mobile is the worrying bit as my daughter has a heart condition, suffers with chest infections and is more likely to get leukaemia than other children and there is very little information about what the masts emit and the likely effects on your health.

"I would want T-Mobile to guarantee that my daughter would not suffer adverse health effects before I would want one anywhere near the house."
Jack and Phyllis Franks, of Kingsley Drive, have been in their home nearly 50 years and it is just yards from the site of the proposed mast.

Jack, 85, said: "We don't want any mast at all, but certainly not one with the power of this one – we would be slowly cooking. We have a human right to continue our lives with a sense of security about our health."

Neighbour Jackie Moore, 42, said: "It would not fit in at all. It was not particularly the radiation we were worried about, it would just be completely odd looking out at this thing towering above everything else."

T-Mobile submitted plans for a 15m high mast with six antennae and one dish in open countryside next to Cookridge Hall Golf Club.

Plans were to have a cypress tree style mast, allowing it to blend in with a group of eight metre-high deciduous trees which would have surrounded it.

Adam Frontal-Gay, owner of the club, said: "There is no financial gain to Cookridge Golf Club. The land is leased out to us. We don't want to offend residents. This mast will more than likely have to go somewhere in the vicinity."

Coun Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) said: "The mast was set to be positioned in the green belt, in what is classified as an area of special landscape. Planners are 100 per cent correct to seek to protect landscapes like this."

A spokesman for T Mobile said: "We are looking at correspondence from the local authority, the grounds for refusal and what options are available to us."

The mast would be for third generation telecommunications to enhance broadband access for T-Mobile customers.

He added that the firm had to adhere to strict guidelines.

"The World Health Organisation produced a fact sheet in May saying that considering the very low exposure levels and research, results to date showed there is no convincing, significant evidence that the weak radio frequency signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects."

Omega this is not true. See under:

24 August 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.


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