Application for phone mast

By Felicity Collinson

A MOBILE phone giant has lodged a planning request to erect a mast in the grounds of a cricket club.

T-Mobile wants to house the telecommunications mast in the form of a flag pole at Hartlepool Cricket Club, in Park Drive.

And, after having consultations with members of the West Park club, the phone giant has finally lodged a planning application to Hartlepool Borough Council.

However, there is no date as yet for when the issue will be discussed by the planning committee.

A council spokesman said: "The application has been submitted but there is no date for when it will be discussed as yet."

Last year, the Mail reported how the club was to receive a cash payment from T-Mobile for housing the mast, which would be used to buy an all-weather pitch.

And the club had no objections to the proposal as long as no danger to health could be proved.

However, there are objectors to the plan, including former councillor Jim Allan.

He is promoting a leaflet that will be sent to Park ward residents citing reasons why they should object to it.

The reasons include:

- It would be an unwelcome intrusion to the historic Park conservation area;
- The value of houses around the cricket club would be affected;
- Radiation from the mast could be detrimental to health and studies show sleeplessness, fatigue, irritability and sometimes cancer clusters;
- It would cause people to worry about their health;
- Radiation from the mast could affect the health of wildlife;
- French scientists recommend that masts are not erected closer than 900ft to areas where people live, work or play.

The Mail has previously reported concerns by Councillor Pauline Laffey, Conservative representative for the Park ward.

She said: "We have a park nearby and hundreds of homes, and I just don't think it's safe."

But Bill Shurmer, chairman of Hartlepool Cricket Club, said members believed the mast would be discreet and had allowed T-Mobile to proceed with a planning application.

He said: "We will do nothing that the experts consider a danger to health. "Indeed, any decision may be out of our hands, subject to the result of the planning application."

A T-Mobile spokesman said its interest was "due to the demand of services".

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