Loddon phone mast row


13 June 2007 08:44

Families angry at proposals for a controversial phone mast close to a fire station in a south Norfolk village face an agonising wait to see if it gets the go-ahead.

South Norfolk Council's planning committee meets tomorrowwhen it will decide whether to give permission to the 15-metre mast T-Mobile want to put up at the fire station on the High Street, Loddon to improve the signal black spot in the area.

But the council has received 36 objections from families living in the area concerned about the health and environmental risks posed by the mast which is close to nearby schools and a conservation spot.

Council officers have recommended the planning committee refuse the application because it would not “preserve or enhance the Conservation Area” and would be “detrimental to the visual amenities” of the area.

Jim Leathers, 74, who lives with his wife Eileen in Norwich Road, Thurton, near Loddon, fought an unsuccessful battle with Orange to prevent an eight metre mast going up near his home.

Mr Leathers said he did not think it was the right place for a mast to go and urged councillors to refuse it unless a more suitable location could be found.

“The fire station is a bad choice of location,” he said. “There's even a nursery school opposite and no one knows what effect it has - apparently it's worse for children whose brains haven't formed properly.

“You even have the post office opposite where people congregate. I think it's very bad sticking these things in a populated area. “They don't take the ordinary people's views - I am against it and it is wrong. No one can prove the effect either way - you don't know until time passes what effect these things will have on people.”

The Evening News, through our Put Masts on Hold campaign, has fought against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe.

Loddon Parish Council also has a number of concerns about the application which it states “is not is not in keeping with the street scene” and poses a possible risk to health “especially with the close proximity of schools and nurseries”.

Objectors to the mast have suggested the mast would be better served on an industrial estate, or even on top of the church tower.

But the council has also received five letters in support of the scheme which they say will improve the signal in the area, and would help improve the situation for businesses in the area.

John Carwardine, T-Mobile communication affairs manager, said: “We have to conform to very strict international and national health and safety guidelines. In citing where mobile phone base stations are located, we always try to find a balance between the needs of the customers and the environment.

“There are over 60million mobile phone users in the country and without masts the mobile phone network will not work.”

Omega read "Base Stations, operating within strict national and international Guidelines, do not present a Health Risk?" under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/771911/ and
"Competing interests, conflicts of interest: Who's funding WHO?"under: http://omega.twoday.net/stories/3347390/

The planning committee meeting takes place tomorrowat 4.30pm in Hobart High School, Kittens Lane, Loddon.

# Has your health or quality of life suffered because of a nearby phone mast? Call Lucy Bolton on 01603 772429 or email lucy.bolton@archant.co.uk

Copyright © 2007 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.



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