PROTESTERS PUT 02 TO THE TEST

CAMPAIGNERS are bracing themselves for a decision on plans for a controversial mobile phone mast.

Melton residents have been locked in discussions with communications giant O2, which wants to site a 15m mast in Asfordby Road.

Although the company was granted full planning permission it was forced to look elsewhere after protesters blockaded the site.

The firm says no other spots are suitable and will soon decide whether or not to push on with the mast.

Angela Johnson, the company's regional spokesman, said: "It's difficult to say how this can be resolved. We do need coverage in the area and the actual protest group is fairly small whereas the silent majority want a good mobile phone service.

"As far as we're concerned no decision has been made yet but one should be made soon."

Campaigners are concerned the mast will be a threat to their health and are unconvinced by O2's reassurances.

The firm has offered to perform radio frequency tests to reassure residents, but the two sides cannot agree on a company to perform the test.

A residents' public meeting was held recently to discuss what to do next and rally more support, and among the speakers was Brian Stein, chief executive of Melton food giant Samworth Brothers.

Mum of two Elanor Shaw's house is just 100 yards from the proposed site near Melton Town Estate's sports ground.

She organised the meeting at Sysonby Church, off Sysonby Grange Lane, and said she is still determined to ensure the mast is never built.

Mrs Shaw said: "The meeting went well and a lot more people have come forward to offer their help. I've also put it to O2 that we wouldn't be happy about a radio frequency test unless it was conducted by a company recommended by Powerwatch.

"If it comes back to build the mast I will get in the way again. That's how we stand at the moment."

chris.breese @meltontoday.co.uk

05 December 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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