More than 200 protest over mast

10 September 2006 | 00:42

MORE than 200 people are protesting over proposals to put a mobile phone mast in Felixstowe cemetery.

The site has been offered by town councillors as an alternative to another site, which was in the middle of a housing area.

But now the new site has generated anger among families living near the cemetery in Langley Avenue - and they are calling for telecommunications masts to be put up on the edges of towns, well away from homes and young children.

Suffolk Coastal councillors are recommended by officers to approve the mast for O2 when they meet on September 14.

So far around 30 letters of objection have been sent to the council, along with two petitions with a total of 215 signatures.

Resident Denise Bell, one of the organisers of the petition and protest campaign, said: “I know there is great concern about potential health hazards from these masts, especially when they are near homes.

“This may be in the cemetery but there are homes just across the field and the signals from the mast would come straight at the homes with nothing in between, no interruption at all. I don't think it is the right place to have it.”

In letters of objection, residents have voiced concern that low level radiation will adversely affect health, the mast would be ugly and result in the loss of property values, and it should be at least 750 metres from any properties.

They also said using the cemetery showed a total lack of respect for those buried there.

Five schools in the area have been asked for their comments.

The mast would stand 15 metres high and have six antennae, plus equipment cabinets in a compound, and be opposite the Deben High School playing field.

The mast would fill a gap in coverage for the 3G network to ensure people can use their phones whenever and wherever they are.

A report to councillors said the previous suggested O2 site in Grange Farm Avenue was only ten metres from homes, while the cemetery site was 100 metres from any home.

“The coverage area for which a need has been established is a significantly built up residential area with a number of schools within and close by,” said the report.

“There are very little opportunities within this highly built up residential area to site the mast a greater distance from houses and which also meet the technical constraints of the operator.”

What do you think of the mast plan? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

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