Residents unite against mobile phone antennae

By Richard Lyons

This is Local London

25.08.06

A group of Wallington residents are fighting moves to have their homes turned into a potential health risk without their consent after the property owners and a phone company agreed to erect an antennae.

The mobile phone company Hutchison 3G has struck a deal with landlord Playfield Properties to erect a mobile phone mast on a block of flats in the Albany, Woodcote Road.

According to current planning laws, the size of the proposed mast means it can be installed as long as the flat owners agree.

Steve Cunningham, chairman of the Albany Residents' Association, said: "We are worried about the health risk. We have two blocks of flats here and the other block already has a mast on it. continued...

"We are overloaded already without having another one. There should be more say for people who actually live in the area rather than it being forced upon them."

The proposed mast, which will be put on top of a five-story block, is less than four metres high meaning it is subject to very few planning restrictions.

Hutchison 3G has notified Sutton Council of the plans but there is nothing the local authority can do to stop it as long as the property owner agrees.

In a bid to prevent the mast being erected, the residents together with local councillors, Colin Hall and Jayne McCoy, have collected a petition of more than 100 signatures.

Councillor Hall said: "What local people are upset about is that the owners of the building haven't consulted them and neither has Hutchison 3G.

"The contract is between the mast company and the owners. Someone stands to make some money out of this but it won't be the residents who have to live with the noise and health worries the mast will create."

Gareth Coombes-Olney, corporate affairs manager for Ericsson, which is building the mast on behalf of Hutchison 3G, said residents had been informed of the plans by letter.

He added: "In this instance, it is a difficult situation in that the relevant legislation is quite clear. It can just go ahead as long as the owner of the land is happy and it complies with the planning requirements and we have written to the local authority."

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