Fury over plans to extend mast

By Alex Ali

Janine's niece Jordana Harris holding Janine's daughter Eliana with two other children from Colburn Avenue in front of the mast site

A MOTHER-of-two is "disgusted" that a 15-metre high phone mast at the back of her garden could be made bigger.

Janine Lazarus, of Colburn Avenue, Hatch End, rang Harrow Council to find out when she could attend a planning meeting to object to the proposal but claims she was given the wrong date.

Janine said: "I want people to know about this, it's absolutely disgusting. I think it's very bad that the council aren't giving residents the opportunity to speak about it.

"The phone mast is very big, it is very visible and the views of the farmland have been ruined."

O2 plans to extend the phone mast - just 50 metres from her house - to 17-and-a-half metres high, install satellite dishes on the mast and place three equipment cabinets around it.

But Peter Brown, a spokesman for Harrow Council, said: "We are sorry if there has been some confusion over the date.

"Last month the council changed the process of dealing with planning issues so that it is more streamlined.

"This issue was always due to be discussed at the development management committee on December 13 and not at the strategic planning committee on 6 December, but it may be that Mrs Lazarus was inadvertently given the incorrect date on the phone.

"If that was the case we can only apologise."

Janine, her husband Paul, 13-year-old son Adam and her four-year-old daughter Eliana, can already see the mast fom their back garden.

Janine said: "The Stewart report recommends that phone masts shouldn't be put up so close to houses and it's right by the playing fields used by Grimsdyke First and Middle School too. It's just a saftey hazard because children are at the highest risk from having problems as a result of the radiation from the phone mast because their brains aren't formed properly."

T-mobile will also have joint usage of the mast, which was erected on a green belt site which is on farmland at Pinner Wood Farm.

Jim Stevenson, community relations manager for O2, said: "There has to be at least one metre between our antennas and T-mobile's otherwise they will interfere with each other and that is why there has been such a big increase in height."

Janine added: "When the mast went up two years ago my daughter was only two years old and I took some readings of the levels of radiation in the house and they were high, although a phone company would never admit to it.

"I went to five other houses away from the area to make sure my findings were correct and there weren't any readings."

Cllr Marilyn Ashton, portfolio holder for planning development and enterprise at Harrow Council, said: "We always take people's concern's seriously and we will come to a decision based on all points of view."

© Copyright 2001-2006 Newsquest Media Group

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