Phone mast plan sparks anger

Oct 25 2006

By Andrew Heath

PROTESTERS claim they are "under siege" from mobile phone companies desperate to build a mast near their Warwickshire homes.

More than 30 men, women and children joined a demonstration against O2's plans to build a 15 metre pole next to Old Milverton Road, between Leamington and Warwick.

They are angry the company has submitted an application to build a mast in the area just seven months after councillors on Warwick District Council's planning committee turned a previous application down for an O2 mast 50 yards away.

So far, the group has fended off three applications from O2 and other applications from Orange and Vodafone.

And despite hundreds of signatures on a petition against the latest application, they are worried councillors may finally give O2 the green light.

Mum-of-two Laura Fitzpatrick, aged 33, of Old Milverton, Leamington attended the protest with her two-year-old son Oscar and 14-month-old daughter Eva.

She said: "It is like being under siege.

"Nobody wants it and there is a better site nearby. If they put in an application for a pole at a site by electricity pylons nearby, no-one would mind.

"We are getting worried that if they just keep going eventually people will give up."

In March, councillors turned down the application on the grounds of road safety and Terry Molloy, of St Albans Close, Milverton, believes the same concerns affect the latest proposal.

He said: "It would be an accident waiting to happen. It would be standing on a concrete base on the side of a busy country road.

"It is basically the same proposal as last time just 50 yards away."

A spokeswoman for O2 said the company wanted to build a mast in the area because the existing network was reaching capacity.

She said: "We only build when it is absolutely necessary.

"We also have a commitment to the government to provide nationwide 3G coverage for the whole of the country.

"At the moment people may get a good signal, but there will be peak times when people won't be able to get a signal at all."

© owned by or licensed to Midland Newspapers Limited 2006

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