Neighbours hit the roof as phone mast goes up at pub

MPs are being urged to back a campaign opposing a mobile-phone mast which has gone up on the roof of a Highbury pub.

Residents are appalled that the 10-foot 02 phone mast was fitted above the Arsenal Tavern in Blackstock Road last week, apparently without planning permission or consultation.

The Victorian pub is in Islington but comes under Hackney Council licensing department.

Residents are calling on Islington North Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn and Hackney North and Stoke Newington Labour MP Diane Abbott to support their campaign to have the mast removed.

Resident Zena Sullivan said the first she knew about the mast was when she looked outside her kitchen window and saw it being put on the roof of the pub.

“Residents and business people around here are really angry,” she said. “No one has looked into the health effects of this device. There are several schools nearby and most authorities have a policy of not siting phone masts close to places where there are children

“We can’t understand why the pub doesn’t need planning permission for this mast. Hackney says there is nothing they can do.”

Under the 1995 Town and Country Planning Act, no planning requirement is needed for mobile-phone masts although they can be removed as a precautionary measure if they are deemed to be too close to primary schools. Residents claim the mast is about 150 yards from a primary school.

A spokeswoman for Hackney Council said it was investigating the siting of the mast. She added: “We are not aware that planning permission has been sought and that may be being done retrospectively. An officer will be visiting the premises to seek further explanation.”

• Scientists have warned that a plan to site 32 mobile-phone masts at Arsenal’s new Emirates Stadium would make it a high-density area for the devices.

Powerwatch, an independent group, has counted almost 100 masts in a two-square- mile radius of the stadium.

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