Battle against Thorpe phone mast begins - New threat from Thorpe phone mast

SARAH HALL
31 October 2006 09:18

More than a hundred people attended a public meeting to object to plans for a mobile phone mast near homes on the outskirts of Norwich.

People living in Thorpe St Andrew crammed into Dussindale Community Centre on Monday night to voice their concerns over the 22.5 metre mast on land near to the Fitzmaurice Pavilion off Pound Lane.

Telecommunications giant 3, formerly Hutchison 3G, has applied to Broadland District Council for approval for the mast, but families are worried about the potential health risks from living in the shadow of the equipment as well as it ruining the surrounding environment.

The meeting, held by Thorpe St Andrew Parish Council, indicated a total lack of support for the mast with many people claiming it should be placed on a more industrial site rather than near people's gardens.

Michelle Borman, 26, who lives off Pound Lane, said: No one wants this mast here. We have not been consulted fairly over this. It is going to be ugly and will ruin the look of the place. It will affect the sale of homes here and there are possible harmful effects that are not worth thinking about.

“Many of my friends and neighbours have children and grandchildren and many are constantly worried about the risks to their health. Some people are talking about moving away.”

Thorpe St Andrew parish councillors agreed to take the objections, including a petition, to Broadland District Council.

Chairman Dennis Eley said: “These plans are not set in stone. This is not a done deal and we are listening to people's views. We will take these comments to Broadland Council who are dealing with the application.”

The Evening News has fought against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe through our Put Masts on Hold campaign.

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.

//tinyurl.com/y89bh2

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New threat from Thorpe phone mast

The 120ft mast in Furze Road, Thorpe St Andrew.

PETER WALSH
01 November 2006 09:45

Families and schoolchildren living in the shadow of a 120ft mast could soon have to contend with even more antennae being added to the tower.

The NTL owned mast in Furze Road, which towers over Thorpe St Andrew, is already covered in more than a dozen mobile phone antennae and is close to St Williams Primary School and a sheltered housing complex.

But in the past few days the St Williams Loke school has been notified by Arqiva Ltd, formerly the broadcast arm of NTL Group, that Vodafone has requested to install additional dish antenna on the tower.

The proposal is part of a plan to “enhance the coverage and the quality of the signal of their existing second generation cellular telephone service for Thorpe St Andrew and the surrounding area”.

But Peter Harwood, a governor at St Williams Primary school, said he would be opposed to any extra antennae being put on the mast. He said: “We've lived here for more than 30 years and it's totally inappropriate for a residential area. In terms of the school I certainly do have concerns with children being exposed to what are unquantified risks - we simply don't know what the long-term health effects of these masts might be.”

Mr Harwood, also a county councillor for Woodside division, said the application would be raised again with the governors who were likely to be opposed to the scheme because it was so near the school and homes.

The Evening News - through our Put Masts on Hold campaign - has fought for years against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved safe.

Dr Ian Gibson, a long-time supporter of our campaign, said he was amazed there could be yet more antenna added to the towering St William's Way mast.

“I shouldn't think there's any more room on that mast,” he said. “I didn't know there was a problem (with coverage), but here we go again - their arrogance is boundless. I guess they will get away with it, but the majority of people are against masts on their own doorstep.”

A spokesman for Vodafone said: “This is about improving the robustness of our network, part of a national programme looking at the way base stations link together.” The additional dishes would not “increase the exposure at ground level”.

Last year, the Evening News reported how families in the area were worried about proposals by O2 to put an extra three antennae on the mast. It came just three months after Sir William Stewart, chairman of the National Radiological Protection Board, published an independent report calling for a precautionary approach to masts near homes and schools.

The mast, which has been at the site since the 1950s, is now owned by communications company NTL. It leases space to O2 Orange and T mobile. NTL has said its sites are professionally managed and comply with international safety standards. Families had blamed the structure for causing their loved ones to develop cancers, although the company has denied the allegations.

Are you fighting a mobile phone application near where you live? Call Peter Walsh on 01603 772439 or e-mail peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.

//tinyurl.com/yz6xcb

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