Mobile phone mast plans spark anger

A row has erupted over plans for a new mobile phone mast between Chorley and Leyland.

Mobile phone giant Hutchisons 3G is planning to erect a 15-metre mast and associated equipment on land west of The Hayrick pub, Wigan Road, Clayton-le-Woods.

The site is near the M6 and less than a mile from the planned location in Lancaster Lane for another new mobile phone mast by 02.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle is among those wanting to know why two phone giants can't share a mast.

Mr Hoyle said: "This time Chorley council has to recognise that the operators are running roughshod over the area. The council should take a stand that operators should look towards mast-sharing.

"We know that they keep coming back asking to erect more and more of these masts. They are a blot on the landscape and are not very attractive visually.

"They are not good for the area and to bring in more of them is unacceptable. The companies should be considering the communities where they are building the masts and also that the residents are their customers and they should therefore be reasonable with their proposals."

Dave Dargan, landlord of the Hayrick pub, said he'll also be writing a letter of objection to the council.

"Why can't these companies share phone masts?" he asked. "There are more and more of them. I know the companies themselves will say there's no proof of any threat to health but what if they're wrong."

Martin's newsagents on Wigan Road, formerly Forbouys, have written to Chorley Council objecting to the plans for the mast.

A member of staff, who asked not be named, said: "It is ridiculous to see all these phone masts going up in the area. Not only are they an eysesore, but there are also concerns that they could harm your health.

"I do get a lot of customers coming in who aren't happy with this application, especially older people who have concerns for their health. I don't understand why every company has to have their own mast.

"They should share the masts and then there wouldn't be so many and it would probably be cheaper for them. We don't want another phone mast."

Brian Spooner, of Hutchison3G, said: "I question the comment by the local MP that operators are running roughshod over the area.

"In this instance the company is informing the public of a proposal to locate the mobile phone base station in the locality, as part of a voluntary consultation process with an open and honest approach.

"With regard to mast sharing, the first part of any process to find a location is to look at existing operators' masts to see if they are suitable.

"In this instance we investigated the possibilty of using an existing mast at Lydiate Farm, but its location would not provide adequate coverage to the area of service."

08 February 2007

All rights reserved © 2007 Johnston Press Digital Publishing.

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