‘No stopping’ the mast invasion

By Dominic Yeatman

ANOTHER 54 mobile phone masts will be added to the 99 already in Redbridge over the course of the next year if mobile phone operators have their way.

Sixteen of them are destined for Wanstead and Woodford, many within yards of existing masts, and planning permission has already been granted for 13 of the sites identified across the borough.

The proposals have been revealed in the phone operators' annual roll-out plans, which have been submitted to Redbridge Council and were discussed at a meeting of the council's area two committee.

Monkhams ward councillor Jim O'Shea said: "In area two they all seem to be centred around one area in George Lane and we're a bit concerned about why they need to be so concentrated."

Proposed sites include Meadow Walk in Snaresbrook, South Woodford station, the corner of Colvin Gardens and Rodney Road in Snaresbrook, Redbridge station, the Thames Water station in Chigwell Road and Patnam House in George Lane, South Woodford.

Three are earmarked for Woodford Road in South Woodford, including one at Ornwell Lodge and one at Copsfield Court.

Two are set for Aldersbrook Road in Wanstead and two for Wanstead High Street, one at The Hollies and one at Ashford Associates.

Some of them are on the site of existing masts, but that has not reassured anti-phone mast campaigners.

Elizabeth Canavan, who led a long but eventually unsuccessful campaign against a T-Mobile mast in Aldersbrook Road, said: "I would hate to say it's a lost battle, but we're really quite powerless and they are just surging ahead willy nilly.

"They're going to start back pedalling in a few years time, lowering emissions and admitting that they cause problems. You can see it's coming, but at the moment it's just too economically important."

The response of the area committees and the conservation advisory panel will be co-ordinated and presented to the phone companies at a joint meeting in February.

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