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Wales Created: 11 Jul 2005
Protests could force rethink over hospital phone mast

HEALTH officials who faced furious criticism after telling a mobile phones company it could put a base-station on the roof of Bronglais Hospital this week
came under renewed pressure to cancel the deal Ceredigion and Mid Wales NHS Trust were targeted by angry residents and Ceredigion MP Mark Williams
after it was revealed it gave the go-ahead to phones company 3 despite a new study warning that radiation from base-stations affects brain-waves and can seriously damage health. Hundreds of residents living close to the hospital were this week backed by Ceredigion AM Elin Jones, who demanded the trust immediately cancel its contract with 3 because of continuing uncertainty over the safety of base-stations. She said she had been contacted by many
“worried” people living in the area who feared their health could be at risk if the plan went ahead. Trust chief executive Allison Williams has refused to
reveal how much the trust - which is £1.1 million in the red - will earn from the phones deal, and has admitted that the trust board was not told of the agreement, despite known public concerns about the safety of mobiles technology. She has hinted that, if protests continue, officials will consider cancelling the contract with 3. St David’s Road residents said there was widespread public concern about the mast proposal and protested that they had not been consulted about the plan. A residents association this week told Ms Williams: “It is a cause for concern that we have not been consulted on this matter, especially as accountability and transparency should be expected of a publicly-funded body. “In our view it is particularly inappropriate that a hospital should be promoting technology with which there are health concerns. We would ask that you seriously reconsider this decision.” 3 has insisted there is no “general” risk to the health of people
living or working near base-stations. But the company was involved in new controversy after planners admitted a temporary mast in a farmers co-op yard at Parcyllyn was unauthorised. Officials could face criticism after saying 3 would not be told to dismantle the mast because the firm had now made a planning application. Trefechan residents celebrated after Ceredigion planning councillors voted unanimously to refuse a bid for a 12-metre Orange mobile phones mast
in the old Welsh Brewers yard following protests.
But a mobiles mast in a lay-by at the Waunfawr junction at the top of Penglais Hill w a s approved.
It will be the third in the immediate area and will be only 300 metres f r o m P e n g l a i s school.
Aberystwyth Today 20.07.05

Anger over surprise appearance of mast

A MOBILE phone company which unlawfully put up a mast in Aberystwyth last week has spoken of its plans to put another on top of Bronglais hospital. The movements of Hutchison 3G came to light last week after Llanbadarn councillor Paul James started to investigate concerns of residents. The company erected a 15-metre mast in the yard of Clynderwen and Cardiganshire Farmers store at Parc-y-Llyn overnight on Tuesday without planning permission. Cllr James described the company as “mid-night commandos,” and their actions as “very cloak and dagger” and officials in Ceredigion County Council’s Planning Department were baffled by the sudden appearance. Hutchison 3G revealed late on Wednesday that they had not applied for planning permis-sion but intended to. A spokesperson for the company also spoke of their plans to erect two other masts in the town, one on the roof of Bronglais Hospital and another on the town’s police station. Verity Stanford of Hutchison 3G said: “The current mast site is a temporary one, but we are hoping to install two permanent masts in the town in the coming months. “The company has acted in a reasonable fashion in order to secure a temporary site in the area, we are submitting a planning appli-cation which will allow local residents to put their views on our proposal to the local plan-ning authority.” “A four-metre mast at Bronglais hospital we have planning for and there are plans for another at the police station, which we are in discussions for. “We will be applying for retrospective plan-ning permission on the temporary site. “It is important that we have a mast in the town as our customers currently have a limited service and cannot make data calls in Aberystwyth.” Cllr James responded: “Their actions are not responsible, in fact they are very irresponsible. “There is a lot of skullduggery going on. They are like midnight commandos, coming under the cover of darkness and erecting this mast.” Senior Planning Officer for Ceredigion County Council said of the temporary mast: “This was only brought to our attention on Wednesday. “This is classed as an un-authorised develop-ment and we do have powers to remove the mast. An enforcement officer from the council will visit the site and report back to us before a decision is made.” One nearby resident, Ifor Jones, who lives in Maes Mawr spoke of his disgust this week. “They can’t be able to get away with this, I am utterly disgusted. “It is so close to our houses and to Penwed-dig school, people are just dumb-founded. “It is an eye-sore and then there are the reported health issues. What I want to know is what the affects are in ten years time from living so close to a mast. “I noticed the mast on Wednesday morning and phoned Cllr Paul James immediately, he was down here in seconds.” Cllr James added: “My phone has been ring-ing itself off the hook from angry residents since this mast was put up. “The way it has been done it’s very under-handed. “I have spoken to the Farmers’ store and they seemed to be under the impression that Hutchison 3G had planning permission for this. “The people of Maes Mawr have had to put up with a lot, from boy racers to this, it has been hell for them. “I hope the mast is brought down so that we have a level playing field. Hutchison seem to have the upper hand at the moment.” Chief Executive of County Stores Keith Gos-ney said: “The situation with us is simple. “We were approached by Hutchison 3G and we said it was fine to put up a mast on our land, so long as they satisfied the local authority’s plan-ning procedures. “There seems to be a misconception on the part of Hutchison in relation to planning rules in Ceredigion. “I can assure people that the mast will remain inactive until a planning decision has been reached.” Spokesman for Bronglais hospital Brian Tho-mas said: “I can confirm that permission has been granted to erect a telephone mast on the hospital roof. “The frequency Hutchison 3G will run off is outside that of medical equipment and will not cause any disruption.”
Aberystwyth Today
Wales says "No mast"

I will not allow a mast in my yard’
AN Aberystwyth businessman has told the Cambrian News that he has pulled the plug on a controversial planning application for a 12-metre mast to be erected at Woods Yard in Trefechan.
Steve Woods, who owns Woods Yard, Old Brewery, Trefechan, has confirmed that Alder King, as agents for the Orange communication company,
had approached him regarding a planning application for a mast to be erected at Woods Yard.
The 12-metre column would have had up to six antennae and four dishes, and other associated equipment cabinets at ground level.
The agents have submitted an application to Cyngor Sir Ceredigion’s planning authority, but Mr Woods is adamant that no agreement has been
made with Alder King.
Many local residents are objecting to the application, fearing that it might affect their health, as well as devaluing their properties.
And Aberystwyth Town Council has also lodged an objection But Mr Woods, the proprietor of Woods Building Supplies, Clarach,
contacted the Cambrian News to state categorically that no mast would be erected on the site of the Old Brewery, which is used for
storage purposes by the company.
Mr Woods said: “Alder King did approach us.
They said that they wanted to erect a mast, and a planning application was being submitted.
“But no agreement has been made with Alder King.
And as I can see that it would interfere with our daily work, as well as being of concern to local people, I can say that I will not
be allowing the erection of a mast.”
Mark Edge, and his wife Annette, who live above their Londis store in Trefechan, are strong objectors to the planning application.
Mr Edge said: “We live here with our three children, overlooking the yard which is the subject of the planning application.
It is potentially a serious hazard to health, as nobody is yet in a position to say that these masts do not provide a risk to health.
“Dozens of children living in the area might suffer health problems in the future if a mast is erected.
“As far as I am aware, all the locals are objecting to the application.
The offices in the Old Brewery have not been used for years, and every ground-floor window is boarded-up.
Now there is an application for a mast which would further devalue our property.
” Aberystwyth Town Council has already l o d g e d a f o r m a l objection.

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