RESIDENTS' FEARS OVER MAST PLAN

RESIDENTS want to see a mobile phone mast scheme kicked into touch at a sports ground.

Complaints have been lodged with South Tyneside Council about plans to place a telecommunications mast at Hebburn Sports and Social Club.

The plans by mobile phone company 02 (UK) Ltd, of Leeds, include the demolition of an existing 16.5m high lattice tower and floodlights at the north west corner of the site in North Drive, off Victoria Road West, and the construction in the same location of a new tower of the same height, incorporating three telecommunications antennas, floodlights and two microwave dishes.

But nearby residents are unhappy about the plans, citing health fears and possible damage to property values.

John Shippen, of North Drive, Hebburn, who plans to speak out against the mast plans at a future council meeting, said: "Basically, I think it will be in the wrong place and there are still health fears about mobile masts."

Neighbour Thomas Johnsen added: "We already have problems with double parking when football is played at the ground.

"We have spoken to local councillors about the mast and we hope to get their support.

"A petition will also be going around the estate, because we have been told that will carry more weight with the council."

A planning spokesman confirmed that a dozen letters objecting to the mast scheme have already been received by South Tyneside Council.

A council consultation exercise about the plans has been under way for some time.

Mary McNabola, another North Drive resident, said: "I don't think the mobile mast should be so close to people's homes.

"I think people are also worried about the possible effect on house values."

Coun Eddie McAtominey, for the Hebburn South ward, said: "I have met with residents in the area and it's clear people are unhappy about the mast being placed so near their homes.

"South Tyneside Council owns the land and leases the site to the sports club and I don't think Hebburn ward members will look on this application favourably."

No one was available for comment at Hebburn Sports and Social Club.

terry.kelly@northeast-press.co.uk

06 September 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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