Village says no to another mast

Residents in Cubbington fear the floodgates have opened for communications companies to use their villages as a "dumping ground for masts".

This week phone company T Mobile expressed an interest in installing a mast in Cubbington Road, opposite the Rugby Tavern.

Their enquiry - directed at ward councillor Norman Pratt before submitting an application - follows the fiercely contested application made by O2 for the same plot of land last year.

Residents turned out in force to protest against O2's plans, which were eventually refused by Warwick District Council's planning committee.
But despite a residents' petition carrying more than 1,000 signatures, the committee's decision was overturned on appeal.

In T Mobile's letter to Coun Pratt it has stated that the site next to the existing O2 mast is a "preferred location" for the company.

And county councillor Pratt hopes "people power" will be more successful is rebuffing the latest application.

He said: "We have already got one on that verge that we objected strongly to but lost out to a decision made by an inspector in Bristol.

"I know the health factors are not taken into account, because there is no firm evidence, but having two of these next to each other could be a lot more dangerous than we think.

"This proposal will not only lend greater weight to the objections made at the time of the O2 application, but will set a precedent which those areas who already have a mast may find difficult to resist.

"This could be the thin end of the wedge as who knows how many more companies could take a similar approach."

He added: "Needless to say this further application will be strenuously resisted. There are a number of recent examples where people power has won the day, and it is hoped as many people as possible will give their support for moves to have this latest application thrown out."

Parish councillor David Saul is also urging people to take note and be prepared with their objections if a formal application is submitted.

He said: "This is totally inappropriate for that site because of the situation. It is like putting it in the middle of a housing estate.

"In fact it's like putting a bomb in the middle of a housing estate, a ticking bomb, because we don't know the affect it will have.

"Because of the size of these companies and the power they yield we are being kept away from the truth about the health effects.

"I urge residents to get out on the streets and use their democratic right. I just hope Cubbington is not going to become a dumping ground for phone masts."

A comment from T Mobile was not available as the Courier went to press.

31 January 2007

All rights reserved © 2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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