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Surrey:
United Kingdom Created: 10 Jul 2005
Orange challenged to private meeting by angry residents

LOCAL residents have blasted mobile telephone operator Orange for its lack of public consultation over the proposed sitings of masts in Farnham.
Proposed mast sitings by Orange near Bourne Infant School, Waverley Lane and in Manor Gardens have angered residents who have ferociously
campaigned against them. After attempting to liaise with Orange over many months, the Manor Gardens’ Action Group has appealed to officials from the
mobile telephone operator to make public their plans for mast sitings in Farnham. In a letter to Orange, co-ordinators Ray Cuckow and Simon Hall said:
“We know that some people, and indeed some organisations, appear to be against all phone masts. That is not our position and we have stated so publicly.
“We believe that masts must be sited safely, and be sited in a sensitive way environmentally - your Manor Gardens mast proposal meets neither criteria.
On June 5, we offered in writing to meet Orange locally in a small private meeting to find a mutually acceptable way forward. That offer was totally ignored
and not even acknowledged. “We understand that you are handling the Manor Gardens mast nationally so we therefore invite you to join our group for that
small private meeting.” In a survey conducted by the Manor Garden Action Group, 96 per cent of local residents said that they preferred a single mast on
higher ground rather than multiple masts sited among houses and schools. Local residents also criticised Orange for their planning consultation procedures
with 91 per cent saying it has been disastrous for the mobile telephone operator. Finally, 89 per cent of residents said that they would actively avoid using Orange’s technology in comparison to their competitors after the continuing mast sitings fiasco in Farnham.
Farnham Today
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Objections to phone mast plans

A proposal to site a 12m Orange mobile phone mast at the junction of Chessington Road and Longmead Road, Ewell has attracted objections from residents concerned for their health.
In a consultation letter, the telecommunications company told homeowners that the location had been sensitively selected to minimise impact on the
environment.
Thirteen other sites were rejected after preliminary investigations.
But villagers are concerned about the proposed site being near three schools research has linked the masts to childhood leukaemia.
They also claim the consultation has been too narrow.
Orange, which says there is no substantiated evidence about the health threats, is yet to a lodge a formal planning application.
Surrey Comet. Thursday 21st July 2005
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South West Surrey:
Councillor joins Bourne mast protest
SURREY county councillor David Munro has joined the fight to stop mobile telephone operator Orange erecting masts in Farnham. Mr Munro, the county councillor for south Farnham, has written to Orange stating his concerns about the possible erection of masts at the Bourne crossroads and at a site in Manor Gardens on the A287. He has pledged his support for residents’ groups campaigning against Orange and for Jeremy Hunt, MP for south west Surrey, who has urged Orange to reconsider the possible siting of a mast near The Bourne Infant School. Mr Munro said: “These proposals are appalling and must be resisted both on environmental and perceived health grounds. There is no justification for putting these masts in such a prominent position where they will blight the landscape and make many people, especially those with young children, genuinely fearful of the hazards to health. “Orange must not prolong the deep worries that they are putting residents through and must withdraw the proposals straightway. I have written to the company urging them to listen to the protests of residents and our MP, Jeremy Hunt, and think again without delay,” he added. Niki Hearnshaw, campaign co-ordinator for the Bourne school mast action group, is anxious about the length of time Orange are taking to decide about the fate of the proposed mast at The Bourne Infant School. “We were given a promise by Orange in a meeting on May 31 that a decision would be made in two weeks. Since then I have been made aware of a public statement by Orange saying that it may take six to eight weeks,” she said. Residents campaigning against the possible erection of a 40-ft mast at the Manor Gardens site have fiercely criticised Orange. In a survey by the Manor Gardens mast action campaign group, the vast majority of local residents believe that this issue is “a public relations disaster for Orange that does them no credit”, while most residents “would actively avoid Orange and urge all their friends to do the same”. Joint campaign co-ordinator Ray Cuckow, said: “We publicly call on Orange to drop the environmentally damaging Manor Gardens proposal. This mast fails to meet Orange’s published standards of corporate and social responsibility. It would be a very serious loss of amenity, not just for us but also for the whole community.” Orange has responded to the concerns by stating that the decision-making process about the siting of masts is still ongoing and every effort was being made to resolve this as quickly as possible.

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Councillor joins Bourne mast protest
SURREY county councillor David Munro has joined the fight to stop mobile telephone operator Orange erecting masts in Farnham.
Mr Munro, the county councillor for south Farnham, has written to Orange stating his concerns about the possible erection of masts at the Bourne crossroads and at a site in Manor Gardens on the A287.
He has pledged his support for residents’ groups campaigning against Orange and for Jeremy Hunt, MP for south west Surrey,
who has urged Orange to reconsider the possible siting of a mast near The Bourne Infant School.
Mr Munro said: “These proposals are appalling and must be resisted both on environmental and perceived health grounds.
There is no justification for putting these masts in such a prominent position where they will blight the landscape and make many people,
especially those with young children, genuinely fearful of the hazards to health.
“Orange must not prolong the deep worries that they are putting residents through and must withdraw the proposals straightway.
I have written to the company urging them to listen to the protests of residents and our MP, Jeremy Hunt, and think again without delay,” he added.
Niki Hearnshaw, campaign co-ordinator for the Bourne school mast action group, is anxious about the length of time Orange are taking to decide about the fate of the proposed mast at The Bourne Infant School.
“We were given a promise by Orange in a meeting on May 31 that a decision would be made in two weeks.
Since then I have been made aware of a public statement by Orange saying that it may take six to eight weeks,” she said.
Residents campaigning against the possible erection of a 40-ft mast at the Manor Gardens site have fiercely criticised Orange.
In a survey by the Manor Gardens mast action campaign group, the vast majority of local residents believe that this issue is
“a public relations disaster for Orange that does them no credit”, while most residents “would actively avoid Orange and urge all
their friends to do the same”.
Joint campaign co-ordinator Ray Cuckow, said: “We publicly call on Orange to drop the environmentally damaging Manor Gardens proposal.
This mast fails to meet Orange’s published standards of corporate and social responsibility.
It would be a very serious loss of amenity, not just for us but also for the whole community.
” Orange has responded to the concerns by stating that the decision-making process about the siting of masts is still ongoing
and every effort was being made to resolve this as quickly as possible.
Farnham Today 17.06.05

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Hunt calls on Orange to drop mast plan

JEREMY Hunt is calling on telephone company Orange to withdraw its proposals for a mast near Bourne Infant School.
The MP for South West Surrey met with officials from Orange at the House of Commons on Tuesday to discuss their plans for a mast on
Frensham Road.
“I don’t like any of the masts they are proposing but the one near the school is a particular cause of concern,” said Mr Hunt.
“What we have said to them is we would like them to withdraw their proposal for that particular mast. T
heir response is that they would give it careful consideration.
But they didn’t say they would and that is why I am cautious.
I would like to see the colour of their money,” he said.
Niki Bradshaw, campaign co-ordinator for the Bourne School masts action group, was also in attendance at the meeting.
She said: “I was reasonably happy about the meeting.
We were pushing the point that they have to consult with us in the true sense of consultation as opposed to a public relations whitewash.”
“The one good thing to come out of the meeting is that they have committed to reassess all of the sites and that they are going to take notice
of the sensibilities of the school site,” she added.
A spokesman for Orange denied the accusation that they had failed to consult with the local community about their plans for the mast.
“It has been mentioned by various campaign groups that Orange has failed to consult with the Bourne School over its plans to erect a mast on the Frensham Road.
“I can confirm that should Orange decide to proceed with this proposal we have every intention of consulting fully with the school.
“The reason this was not done initially is because these proposals were simply outline plans and no formal plans have been submitted.
“The drop in session was a pre-consultation exercise and was designed for us to get some feedback before we began full consultation.”

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Another MP backing the people

Phone mast health worries after plans go unchallenged
A 73-year-old Cheam man may sell the house he has lived in all his life after plans to build a mobile phone mast within yards of the property were
approved without hearing residents' views.
John Foster, of Fieldsend Road, is among dozens of locals outraged that a plan submitted by T-Mobile to build a 14ft mast close to the junction of
St Dunstan's Hill and Lumley Road has been given the go ahead.
Residents said their concerns about the health risks and the devaluation of property have not been heard despite the fact a petition containing 87
signatures was sent to Sutton Council outlining their objections.
Mr Foster said: "Instead of the council working for us, they appear to be working against us they are going to just stick the mast up regardless.
"I have had the house valued and I am actually considering moving out my wife and I feel this is the last straw."
Fellow Fieldsend Road residents, Karen Grant-Bond, 31, and husband Lloyd Bond, 34, were appalled when they learnt a phone mast would be erected
next to the house they only bought last August.
Among the concerns Mrs Grant-Bond said were overlooked by planners was the suggestion the antenna would be better sited on the other side of the
road where there are much fewer houses.
Mrs Grant-Bond said: "We are not going to stop just because it has been granted We are going to take this to a judicial review."
The residents of Fieldsend Road have been joined in their campaign to get the mast plans scrapped by MP for Sutton and Cheam, Paul Burstow.
Mr Burstow has backed a bill which would see planning guidelines for mobile phone masts overhauled in favour of tighter regulations.
As the law stands, masts under 15 metres can be installed without the need for full planning permission.
"It cannot be right that residents are subject to more stringent planning controls over their own porches and conservatories than mobile phone companies
are over masts that affect the whole area," Mr Burstow said.
A council spokesman said there would be an opportunity for residents to present their petition at the Cheam and Worcester Park area committee on Wednesday, July 20.
By Richard Lyons Surrey Comet Thursday 14th July 2005
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MP criticises Blair - more MPs should stand up for us

MP to meet Orange over mast proposals
JEREMY Hunt has criticised Tony Blair and is calling on the Prime Minister to stop ignoring the concerns of local communities about the siting
of mobile phone masts.
The newly elected MP for South West Surrey is meeting representatives from mobile operator Orange to discuss 13 new mast planning applications around the south Bourne area.
“We all want to be able to use a mobile phone, but this doesn’t mean masts should be constructed without any regard for the well- being of local people in south-west Surrey,” he said.
“It is time for Mr Blair to start listening and stop ignoring the views of local communities.
As your member of parliament I will be calling on Mr Blair’s government to address the feelings of powerlessness and frustration experienced
by those living under the threat of badly sited masts,” he added.
One of the sites Mr Hunt will be discussing at the meeting concerns the proposed site on Waverley Lane, opposite
Bourne Infant School. Niki Hearnshaw, campaign co-ordinator for the Bourne School Masts Action Group, said:
“It is great news that this meeting is taking place and that Mr Hunt is helping us with our campaign against the siting of this mast.
” Ms Hearnshaw has been invited to attend the meeting to discuss her concerns about the mast.
“I am delighted to get the opportunity speak with Orange face to face.
I want them to know that there is no way we will give up our fight
no matter how long it takes,” she said.
“The fundamental problem is that Orange has failed to fulfil their promise to consult with the school and the local community
about the siting of the mast.”
All Ms Hearnshaw’s children have attended the school and she is worried out the health effects of the mast on the children.
“The mast will be about 50 metres from the school and because the school is on a hill the mast’s beam will be in line with the playground.
We have had this independently verified by local radiologists,” she said.
And in a further boost for protesters, BBC television cameras visited Bourne Infant School on Wednesday to publicise its fight against
the possible siting of a mast nearby the school.
A statement from Orange said: “We are currently reconsidering a number of proposals as a direct result of the consultation undertaken
at The Bush Hotel back in April.
“We understand the strength of feeling among the local community and although we have a few options left available to us,
we have agreed to revisit some of the previously discounted alternative sites.
We hope to have made some final decisions about which sites we will be progressing within the next two months.
The footage taken at Bourne Infant School will be broadcast on BBC’s South Today during the news coverage of the meeting
between Jeremy Hunt, Niki Hearnshaw and representatives from Orange at the House of Commons on Tuesday, May 31.
Farnham Today 03/06/05

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