Residents protest against mast plan

Nov 8 2006

CAMPAIGNING residents have stepped up their fight to stop a church in Shirley being used as a mobile phone mast.

Around a dozen protested outside All Saints' Church of England Church on Sunday morning as the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Thomas Butler, visited for its 50th anniversary.

And a hastily-convened public rally in the Baptist Hall on Wickham Road last Friday was attended by Croydon Central MP Andrew Pelling and ward councillors Mike Fisher and Richard Chatterjee.

Farm Drive resident Peter Howard said: "All but one of the 60 or so people attending were against the proposal, as were the local politicians."

The plan is for six antennae inside the Grade IIlisted building's bell tower, to boost Vodafone's coverage across a radius of around a mile.

The transmitters would face different directions for 360-degree coverage and would be installed in pairs. One would be for voice calls and another for so-called "3G" services such as video and picture messaging.

Both the Church of England's telecommunications installer QS4 and Vodafone insist there is no health risk.

They also say that the installation would not be visible from ground level.

The application, which will be ruled on later this month by Croydon Council, is an amended version of another turned down last year.

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Southern Limited 2006

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