Community is losing out to companies’ mobile phone masts

Today our neighbourhood woke up to find a massive 15-metre mobile phone mast had been put up by phone company O2 in front of the Five Bells, in East Finchley, despite planning permission being refused by Barnet Council. It dwarfs another phone mast just 50 feet away, while yet another operator is appealing to install a mast 200 yards along the same road, outside two care homes for the elderly. A school for children with special needs is further along the road.

It's an obvious targeting of the East End Road area by the phone companies, who have each application considered in isolation and on its own merits. But it is the community which has to bear the cumulative impact of all these installations, both the visual detraction and health hazards, for years to come.

O2 has erected the Five Bells mast by default, just like it did its one in Chesterfield Road, Barnet (Phone mast protestors block road', November 22), in the confidence that the council would not take it to court after some minor technical error by the council.

The telecommunications corporations have deep pockets and armies of lawyers to fight local residents and cash-strapped councils. It appears the planning process is all a game rigged to make the community the loser.

Gayle Goshorn Pulham Avenue, East Finchley

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