Fury at mast appearance

ANGRY home owners in a Linlithgow housing estate are furious that a massive phone mast has been erected.

The mast at Wilcoxholm Farm, which overlooks Bailielands, appeared a couple of weeks ago. Residents are concerned that the mast, for the T Mobile telephone network, is a health hazard. There is no firm scientific evidence that low-level frequencies emitted by such devices can trigger cancers.

However, one Bailielands resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Gazette: "It's an inappropriate location for such a device. "We were all surprised when it appeared on the horizon a couple of weeks ago because no-one knew anything about it and we were never given any chance to object to it." She continued: "There was no advertising, no neighbour notification. ''It doesn't appear to have needed planning permission. How can that be?"

Kingsfield ward councillor Tom Kerr said he had been approached by local residents at his regular surgery. "They complained about the mast and I've also heard that there's a story doing the rounds in town that I'm somehow involved with it. "I'd like to kill stone dead the rumour that it's in my back garden. "The mast is at least a quarter of a mile from my home."

Councillor Kerr said he had no recollection of receiving any correspondence from T Mobile in connection with the mast. "The application for planning permission was received by West Lothian Council in April and it was approved in June," he said. "It has taken since then for the company to construct the mast. "The nearest adjacent neighbours to the site are Network Rail and there was no obligation on the applicant to notify residents in Bailielands. ''The application received no objections and was approved through delegated powers."Councillor Kerr added: "Had I been more aware of the appli-cation I could have asked for it to be referred to committee but it's not within my powers as a councillor to seek additional neighbour notification."

According to a West Lothian Council spokesman, there was no need to notify neighbours. Explaining why, he said: "The Bailielands residents were not notified about this phone mast as the railway line lies between the site and their houses. "In cases like this, the owner of the land between the site and the houses is notified. "The planning application was not advertised since there was no requirement to do so and consent was granted under delegated powers."

18 December 2006

All rights reserved © 2006 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.




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