Mast protesters' human chain

Dec 21 2006

By Ryan Kisiel

ANGRY residents say they will form a human chain to stop a controversial phone mast being put up.

Protesters in and around Arthur Road, Wimbledon, say they will fight to stop mobile giant Orange.

Phone company bosses plan to put the mast up yards away from five nurseries early next year.

Campaign organiser DeNica Fairman said people would be coming out in force against Orange.

Ms Fairman said: "We're definitely looking at forming a human chain and having a peaceful protest to stop the mast going up.

"People are watching the area in case they try and put it up over the holiday period.

"There are five nurseries within 100m of this building and we're very concerned about it.

"People are devastated that they are going through with this and it just goes to show that our voices are not heard."

The mast is planned for above a cafe in a street that is home to many young families.

The height of the proposed mast means no planning permission is necessary.

Site owner Towerstile, which is based in Sussex, offered through an email to withdraw consent for the mast if campaigners gave them £130,000.

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond said: "We've been fighting this for six months now.

"I've given Orange a number of alternative sites and we under-stand they are a commercial business, but this is a highly sensitive site.

"All the other landlords have refused them permission except the absentee one from Sussex, who is holding this community to ransom."

A spokeswoman for Orange said: "We are aware of the protest against our plans to put up the mast.

"We have had consultation with residents and the MP and there are no plans not to go ahead with putting up the mast."

© owned by or licensed to Trinity Mirror Southern Limited 2006

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