Fury over mast plan

Nov 23 2006

By Adrian Short,
Widnes Weekly News

RESIDENTS fear erecting a mobile phone mast near their homes will blight a recreational area and put youngsters' health at risk.

Vodafone has informed Halton Council of its intention to construct a 12.5-metre mast on the edge of Birchfield Gardens at the junction of Lunts Heath Road and Birchfield Road, Widnes.

Mum Kathryn Rawlinson, of Elworth Road, who is leading an objection campaign alongside Cllr Carl Cross, gathered 65 names in two hours of door-knocking on Friday night.

She said: 'I know you can't objecton thehealthgroundsbut, personally, that's my main concern because I have three kids.

'The mast will be on open land in the middle of a beauty spot - the local children put up bird boxes there and do nature studies, there are ponds and ditches and wildlife.

'A lot of mums and tots go down there for a walk and, having done research on the internet, some experts reckon masts can cause leukaemia and can affect pacemakers.

'The mast will be five minutes walk away from a nearby school.

'I couldn't sleep at night knowing this mast was there and I certainly wouldn't buy a house near one. It will cause massive house devaluation.

'I expect at least 200 names on the petition and would appeal to everybody to write individually to the council.'

A council spokesman said: 'The council will assess the proposal against both national guidance and local policy - which seeks to ensure that the proposal represents the best environmental option - before reaching a decision.

'Three telecommunication applications have been rejected in the past in the north Widnes area.'

adrian.short @cheshirenews.co.uk

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