Mast not wanted near new homes

DAN GRIMMER

04 September 2006 12:14

Families moving into new houses could find they have an unwelcome neighbour - a 25 metre high mobile phone mast.

Mobile phone firm Three, formerly Hutchison 3G, was to install a mast with dishes and equipment on land owned by Toucan Hire Services in Havers Road, Mile Cross.

Protesters have sent objections to Norwich City Council and say it would be unfair to families moving into new homes being built next to the site.

The area used to be used for industrial purposes and was used by Harmers shoe factory, but in the last couple of years hundreds of homes have been built on the site - with the next set of homes currently being built due to be occupied later this month.

It comes just days after the Evening News reported how Three wants to put up a mast just yards from Eaton Park and families living nearby.

Steve Morphew, Labour leader of the city council, said: “We have got an area which has gone from being an industrial area to being a very nice residential area.

“Putting an 81 foot aerial there might have been fine for what the area used to be, but isn't now. The visual intrusion is the reason we want to object.

“Of course people are concerned about the health implications, but I think we have a strong case against giving planning permission based on the visual impact.

“There is a real sense of unfairness about the people who will be moving into the houses nearby. They won't have had the opportunity to know the mast is proposed.

“It might be some people had done searches on their home before this application was put in and do not know it has been submitted.”

Mr Morphew said he had put in a letter of objection on behalf of about 20 people who live in the homes that have already been occupied on the site.

One of the objectors, a 41-year-old graphic designer, who lives on Junction Road opposite the site of the proposed mast, said he was worried that radiation outfall could be cancerous and the mast would be a blot on the landscape.

He said: “They should put it up on the Sweet Briar Industrial Estate which is not near homes. It will stick out like a sore thumb whenever I look out of my window.

“It is going to tower 30 feet above the trees and will destroy the look of that lovely green space of Anderson's meadow.”

Another objector John Russell, who lives on Drayton Road, said: “I don't like the way that Norwich City Council is going about this. It's inappropriate that they should push this through before the residents move in.

“They should defer it until the residents have been consulted. These families are going to move in and they won't want this big contraction on their doorstep.”

William Comery, spokesman for Ericsson Services Ltd, which is setting up the masts on behalf of Three, said it would be up to the planning authority to decide on the mast.

But he said: “We looked at about a dozen to 15 possible sites in that area and approached various freeholds. This was the only one which came through in terms of meeting our needs, but was also the most suitable in fitting in with the environment.

“It is in a group of industrial units, 50 metres from the road and further away from residential properties.”

The Evening News 'Put Masts On Hold' campaign has called for no mobile phone masts to be installed near homes or schools until they are conclusively proved to be safe.

Are you battling a mobile phone mast application where you live? Telephone Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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