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|United Kingdom||Created: 10 Jul 2005|
OPPOSITION GROWS TO MAST NEAR THREE SCHOOLS AND HOMES
Nearly 500 people have signed a petition against the building of a phone mast near their homes. As previously reported in the Echo, Hutchinson 3G
want to build the 12-metre-high mast in Whipton, on the junction of Leypark Road and Hill Barton Road.
There is widespread opposition to the development because, as well as being near thousands of homes, the mast is near three schools, a
children's home and a children's centre.
In addition, the new St Luke's High School, being built beside Hill Barton Road, will be a few metres away from the mast.
Many parents living in the area are worried about having a mobile phone mast near their homes. Catherine Hill, Parent Forum co-ordinator for Sure Start,
which provides services for children in the Whipton area, said: "I am opposed to the mast because it is a worry, and so are parents. I know lots have
signed the petition.
"There are already quite a lot of masts in Whipton I think parents are just worried about the lack of information on how they affect health."
Laurence Davey, one of the founders of Whipton Agai-nst Masts (WAM), said opposition to the mast was spreading.
"Lots of local shops and businesses have displayed our petitions and we have now collected 487 signatures from residents opposing the mast," he said.
"More than 318 residents have written letters of objection to the council too"
Mr Davey will speak out on behalf of residents at a council planning meeting on July 25.
Peter Edwards, councillor for Whipton, also said he would argue against the mast at the same committee meeting.
Hutchinson 3G have meanwhile released more details about the mast. How much of its 20-watt output would be directed towards homes and schools would depend on the alignment of its three antennae. One would face towards Whipton, one towards Heavitree and the third in the direction of Sowton Industrial
Estate and the Met Office.
Mike Dobson, community affairs manager for Hutchinson 3G, said: "We have to be as close to residential areas as possible so we can give the best possible coverage.
We had considered the Texaco garage in Honiton Road, but the owner refused.
"We also considered Rennes House, but Exeter City Council advised us they didn't want us to put it there.
"As a company, we try to put masts on existing structures to minimise the impact."
The mast would be built on Highways Agency-owned land.
This means the county council will be informed of Hutchinson 3G's plans to built the mast if Exeter City Council grants them planning permission.
BY KERRA MADDERN Express and Echo Devon. - 15 July 2005
Council leaders try to block more masts on roof
CALL TO BLOCK ANTENNAS BID
City leaders are to try to block a bid to install more mobile phone equipment on Exeter's biggest block of council flats.
Telecommunications gi-ant O2 is applying for permission to expand its range of equipment on top of Rennes House in Whipton.
The roof at the city council-managed 10-storey-high block is already home to several mobile phone antennas and is close to Whipton Barton
First and Middle Schools.
O2 and another operator have had leases with the city council for their existing equipment since 1997.
But city council leader Roy Slack says health fears expressed by Rennes House residents must be taken into account.
He is recommending fellow members of the authority’s executive committee refuse O2’s bid when they meet next Tuesday.
He said: “When mobile phones first appeared, people were quite relaxed about the equipment that was needed to make these phones work.
“Now people are much more cautious and we think that the operators should think very carefully before installing equipment in very
“I am concerned for the residents of Rennes House who already have a lot of equipment on the roof.
“Although there is no evidence of any significant health harm, we want to allay their fears by putting a stop to further growth in the
amount of equipment installed.”
The Echo’s Shock Waves campaign has been calling for an independent investigation into concerns over the potential health risks of
emissions from mobile phone masts.
It was launched in 2002 after the discovery of a cluster of four cancer cases near a mast in Crediton owned by communications company Orange, which claims its mast is safe.
Exeter City Council has refused planning permission for mobile phone masts before, citing local health fears, but has lost on appeal.
Government planning guidelines say health fears cannot be used as grounds for objection if the masts emit at lower-than-recognised international guidelines.
However, in the case of Rennes House, the city council would be acting in its capacity as the leaseholder and not the local planning authority.
Pensioner Barbara Escott, who has lived in Rennes House for 28 years, said: “We don’t need any more of this equipment on the roof.
“We used to have our washing lines on the roof. Now you can’t go up there and it is full of this stuff.
“We don’t know how it is affecting our health now so I don’t want any more of it.”
Terry Millan, a Rennes House resident of 24 years, added: “I would like to see all of the equipment up there taken away now.
A lot of people complain of being ill around here. You do wonder if it is to do with the mast.
“I would welcome any attempt by the council to stop more equipment being put up there.”
Exeter Express and Echo 17.06.05
PHONE MAST REFUSED
Residents cheered when councillors refused a mobile phone mast on a Witham estate.
Witham Area Committee rejected an application from Hutchison 3G for a mast off Spa Road, opposite Powers Hall Junior and Infants School.
Planning officers recommended approval.
Exeter Gazette. - 16 June 2005
COUNCIL WON'T BUY MASTS KIT
Mobile phone mast emission metering equipment is to be struck off Exeter City Council's shopping list. The council's executive decided two years ago to set aside £25,000 to spend on hi-tech mast monitoring gear.
The decision to buy the equipment was made amid widespread public unease at the health impact of masts.
Public concern about the issue has been highlighted by the Echo's Shockwaves campaign, which is calling on the Government to fund more research into mast emissions.
But now the council's environmental health officials say they do not believe there is any real benefit to be gained from monitoring masts.
A report to the council's community scrutiny committee said the equipment would be used to monitor emissions that are established to be well within the safety limits.
At the meeting, Jayne Donovan, the council's head of environmental health services, said: "It is clear that if the council measured mast emissions the results would be very similar to levels monitored nationally.
"The emissions we would get would be likely to be below international guidelines.
"In my opinion, there would be very limited uses of the information and the results would not be able to provide any meaningful health protection tool.
"However, we will continue to keep abreast of research and other developments in the field."
The committee voted to recommend that the council's executive should support the move not to buy the monitoring equipment.
Conservative city councillor Norman Shiel, the deputy chairman of the committee, said: "I support this recommendation. It would be gesture politics to spend taxpayers' money on this monitoring equipment."
Exeter Express and Echo. BY BEN NORMAN. 09 June 2005
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