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|North Walsham: Fears over campaign to get mast removed
|Created: 6 Jun 2005
PETER WALSH. Norwich Evening News. 01 June 2005
Phone mast campaigners fear their campaign to get a controversial phone mast removed is faltering.
Families living in the shadow of the O2 Airwave mast on top of North Walsham police station have been invited to a private meeting in the town to gauge the level of support for continuing their High Court battle.
Matthew Pennington, a member of the Campaign Against Tetra Siting (CATS), said: "I fear we're on a hiding to nothing at the moment. I can't see how we're going to be successful at the moment — that's what we've got to debate about.
"Hopefully we will get together most of the people who are opposing the mast.
"My only big concern is that no masts are being refused anywhere in the country at the moment."
Mr Pennington, 42, who lives with his wife Rachel Kirk and son Henry, three, said they hoped to find out more news from a barrister about the strength of their case before today's meeting took place.
He added: "I would wish to find out from the community whether they are prepared to back this or not and how much money they might be willing to put forward.
"If we get the barrister's opinion then we will know if we have a legal case worth trying to pursue."
Even if the campaigners were told they did have a case, Mr Pennington said the problem would be in trying to establish how much of a case they had.
"It might be very hard to get some idea of what sort of likelihood they would give us of being successful," he said.
"One of the problems is if we don't get Legal Aid we also get stuck with the costs from the other side."
In March, the Evening News reported how campaigners planned to take their battle against the mast, which will serve the emergency services, to the High Court.
The news came just a month after members of North Norfolk District Council said they would have to back down on plans to take court action partly due to the high cost.
A London barrister told council leaders chances of success were slim and a loss in court could lay the council open to substantial costs.
But the campaigners have found an environmental solicitor in Cambridge who is willing to take their case.
Phone company O2 has been involved in a long-running battle with campaigners over the siting of the mast on Yarmouth Road.
Last year North Norfolk district councillors refused planning permission and ordered O2 Airwave to stop using the equipment because of a feared risk to public health and a breach of planning control.
But the planning inspectorate allowed an O2 appeal in January, which enabled the mast to be switched back on, saying the council did not provide compelling reasons for withholding planning permission.
• Are you battling plans to site a phone mast in your neighbourhood? Call Peter Walsh at the Evening News on (01603) 772439 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
|St Edmundsbury..Haverhil: MP continues battle against phone mast plan
|Created: 6 Jun 2005
.Haverhil: MP continues battle against phone mast plan
Haverhill MP Richard Spring has written to the Planning Inspectorate, urging its officers to refuse an appeal by Hutchison 3G for a telecommunications mast at Hazel Stub roundabout.
Hutchison 3G is appealing against the decision by St Edmundsbury Borough Council's planning committee to refuse planning permission for the mast, which would support 3G mobile phones.
Nearby residents had fought a determined campaign against the mast.
In his letter, Mr Spring said: "I wish to personally oppose this appeal and hope that you will refuse it. It would certainly not be in the best interests of my constituents to allow the base station to go ahead."
Mr Spring had previously shown his support for the residents' campaign, attending a rally in the town centre.
Residents are concerned about the potential health risks from siting a mast so close to properties and schools.
Mr Spring said: "I have never before witnessed so much vociferous objection to a planning application in my time as a Member of Parliament."
The appeal will be dealt with by a planning inspector, but it could go to a public inquiry.
02 June 2005
|Vale MP sympathises with fears over plans to expand mast
|Created: 2 Jun 2005
ARGUMENTS over the siting of equipment for the new 3G telecommunication equipment continue to rage, and residents at The Heathers are angry about plans for the base station in the grounds of Barry College. Now, Vale MP John Smith has met with the residents to show his support for their campaign. He told The GEM: “My sympathies and concerns are with the residents who have already had to endure the siting of a mast in their midst. “I have lodged an objection in respect of the visual amenity of the site. I am aware that there are planning guidelines in place that permit this sort of development, but it is up to local planning authorities to take into account the fears and concerns of residents.” He added: “I will be writing to the mobile phone companies to make them aware of my concerns.” The battle lines remain between the companies, who say that they are operating well within safety margins - and opponents who claim that there is fresh scientific evidence casting doubt on the safety of masts. A spokesperson for Orange said: “It has been a long-standing Government policy objective to encourage telecommunications operators, wherever possible, to share masts and sites as a means of reducing overall mast numbers. “The reality is that the local community want to use mobile phones, and without masts the phones won’t work”. O2 and Vodaphone are proposing to site their equipment on the Orange-owned base station, after protestors opposed the erection of masts at Severn Avenue and Bryn Hafren comprehensive school. The spokesman added: “Orange is aware of the anxiety the proposals are causing in the area and is planning to hold a drop-in session to discuss residents' concerns.” Mrs Angie Homer, a spokesperson for the residents at The Heathers, claimed that scientists were warning that the microwaves emitted by a 3G mast were “chronic invisible stressors that have the same adverse effects on the body as being continuously exposed to loud noise.” She claimed that existing guidelines did not take this into account.” She added: “We really don't know what the impact of this radiation is going to be or what it is going to be like after 10-20 years of regular use.”
|Widnes: Phone mast bid falls down Jun 2 2005
|Created: 2 Jun 2005
Giant mast project fails
ONE of the latest plans to construct a giant mobile phone mast in Widnes has been nipped in the bud by Halton Borough Council.
In recent months the council has been backing hundreds of residents across the town who have co-ordinated protest campaigns in a bid to block the
The latest O2 application to be rejected was for a 15 metre monopole mast with three antennae which was to be built at the junction of the Liverpool Road
and Lower-house Lane, Widnes.
Residents are up in arms at O2's determination to get new masts in the area to support the 'Third Generation' telephone network they claim need bigger and
more powerful installations.
But the council has acted swiftly to thrown out the latest proposals.
The first was submitted in December 2004, for a 15 metre mobile phone mast - the planning application rejected in January this year.
O2 then appealed against the refusal decision and in the meantime the company submitted a further revised application for a 12.5m mast.
Both have now been rejected.
A council spokeswoman said: 'Halton Borough Council has once again received the support of the Planning Inspectorate in rejecting a mast proposal.
'The council has had full backing from the planning inspectorate to refuse planning permission for a mast to be constructed at the junction of Liverpool Road
and Lowerhouse Lane in Widnes.'
Deni Newman, of Halton Friends of the Earth, said: 'The controversy over the risk from mobile phones is heightened by the industry's insistence on subjecting
us all to pulsed wave emissions 24-hours-a-day.
'The pulsed waves act in a similar way to invisible strobe lighting and the resulting interference on human brain wave patterns may result in symptoms such
as altered sleep and behaviour, audio and visual disturbance and loss of concentration.'
Aug 4 2005. Widness Weekly News
MOBILE phone giant O2 has suffered defeat over the proposed siting of a controversial phone mast which Widnes residents believed would be a major eyesore and a potential health threat.
Since September last year, hundreds of residents have protested against the company's plans to construct a mast at the corner of Birch-field Road and Derby Road, opposite Widnes Cemetery.
But the company lodged an appeal with the Government's Planning Inspectorate after Halton Borough Council refused to give it the go-ahead.
The council has now claimed a victory for those who demanded the plans be thrown out.
A council spokeswoman said: 'The Planning Inspectorate agreed with the council that the proposal was not the best environmental option and like the council was not convinced that there was not a better alternative site in the vicinity.
'There had also been a large number of objections from local residents who were concerned about the possible effect on health.'
Cllr Rob Polhill, executive board member for the planning transportation and regeneration, said: 'The council's position on telecommunications masts is very clear - we will always work to ensure that the best environmental option is secured within the Government guidelines and in this case we were successful.'
Since the planning application was first handed to the council a series of objection campaigns were launched on the grounds of 'visual amenity' and the mast's potential for harming human health.
Protesters stressed concern that the combined radiation from the mast and two others nearby could have a greater health impact.
Residents say the borough already has enough masts but believe O2 is still determined to construct more Third Generation masts in other parts of Widnes.
By Adrian Short, Weekly News
|Go-ahead for Fernhurst mobile phone mast
|Created: 31 May 2005
Mobile phone company Vodaphone has won consent on appeal for a 3G mast at Fridays Hill in Fernhurst.
The appeal inspector overruled Chichester District Council's refusal of planning permission for the ten-metre slimline mast, which will be sited on a verge three metres from the edge of the A286, with its equipment cabinet slightly closer.
It will be 400 metres from Fernhurst School and close to four houses.
The inspector said in his report that the main issues for consideration were harm that might be caused to the character of the locality in protected countryside, and highway safety.
Full report in May 19 issue of the Midhurst & Petworth Observer
24 May 2005
|Source: Midhurst & Petworth Observer, 24 May 2005
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