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Chester-le-Street. East Durham: Protestors call for block on plans for estate phone mast
United Kingdom Created: 8 Jun 2005
This is East Durham
PLANNERS are being urged to block an application to install a 12-metre high mobile phone mast in a north Durham estate.
Telecommunications company O2 wants to put the mast on land south of Carlingford Road, on the Garden Farm Estate, in Chester-le-Street.
Chester-le-Street District Council has received up to 600 letters objecting to the application.
The campaign was started by Garden Farm Residents' Association and supported by south ward Councillor Linda Ebbatson.
Coun Ebbatson, who is also council leader, said: "It is a wholly inappropriate site for the installation as it is a central location in the estate, which is virtually open plan.
"It would be very intrusive and affect the visual amenity. We want to upgrade this area, not downgrade."
Other residents are opposed to the mast because of health fears and feel it is too near their properties. The closest house is ten minutes from the site.
Householders also feel the mast will devalue their properties and that potential noise could affect their sleeping patterns.
Protestors fear the mast could diminish road safety, could become a distraction for drivers, and become a meeting point for youngsters.
O2 wants to strengthen its third generation mobile phone coverage in the area.
No one from the company was available for comment when contacted by The Northern Echo.
Council officers have written a report with recommendations for the planning committee which will make a final decision.
It said: "In this instance, the height of the proposed installation, relevant to other buildings and street furniture in the area, is considered to represent a form of development inappropriate for the proposed location, which would be harmful to the character and visual amenity of the area.
"It is considered that the applicants have failed to submit the appropriate justification of the need for the development.
"They have failed to adequately demonstrate that any alleged need could not be met, via the installation of an antenna on existing buildings in the surrounding area."
The planning committee meets at Chester-le-Street Civic Centre on Monday.

Stalybridge. Tameside: No phone masts here
United Kingdom Created: 8 Jun 2005
COUNCILLORS voted to reject applications for masts next to schools, including St Christopher’s Primary
Tameside Advertiser
COUNCILLORS responded to a wave of protest from residents and rejected FOUR applications for mobile phone masts in one go.
This was despite a recommendation from planning officers to grant permission to all four.
The aplications by Vodafone and T-Mobile sparked letters of protest, petitions and a campaign which had the backing of MP David Heyes.
A proposed mast on Woodend Lane, Stalybridge attracted 522 letters of objections plus a petition containing 339 signatures.
Vodafone and T-Mobile have yet to announce whether they will appeal the decisions.
Another application, by T-Mobile for a mast on Broadoak Road, Ashton drew letters from 59 residents detailing concerns which included possible health risks to pupils at nearby St Christopher’s Primary School and Hartshead High School.
Mr Heyes backed their concerns.
Derek Stout, from the residents’ association, said: “I think we can all recall a while ago when people said there was nothing wrong with asbestos or BSE but we all know what happened there. Where this mast is going is where hundreds of children pass every day three or four times.”
He added: “The children are the future, it’s important that we get this right.”
It was refused by Wednesday’s planning committee on the grounds of proximity to local schools. A second application was made by Vodafone for a mast on a pavement opposite Brecon Avenue and Lancaster Road, Denton. It was refused because it was close to a youth centre.
Objectors included the council’s head of sports and cultural services who feared it might deter parents from bringing children to the nearby playing field.
The head of services for children and young people also had reservations because of the proximity to Corrie Primary Schools and Two Trees High School.

A proposed mast on Yew Tree Lane, Dukinfield, sparked a petition signed by 66 residents. Objections against the 15m mast for T-Mobile provoked concerns that it may devalue nearby properties or would be a target for vandalism.
Vicki Davies, whose house is opposite the site, told the panel: “My concern is the radiation. At the end of the day lots of children walk up and down the lane to go to Yew Tree Lane School and Astley High School.
“My child walks up and down Yew Tree Lane three times a day. I am sorry if you want to take risks with my child or anyone else’s.”
Councillors rejected the mast on the grounds of its visual appearance.
A spokeswoman for Vodafone. “Not a decision we take lightly and will give it considerable thought before we decide to proceed. We will look very carefully at the reasons for refusal and what they are.
“The National Radiological Protection Board, who are part of the Health Protection Agency, published a report in January which said there is no scientific basis for setting a minimum distance between a base station and any area where the public is.
“Official guidance is quite clear on these issues. The key issue to remember is the guidelines to protect the public are there to protect whether they are one metre or one mile from a radio base station.
“Clearly, we have many installations on roof tops and inner cities and if we didn’t have them there where people live there would not be a mobile service.”
T-Mobile did not comment.


Morecambe: Anger at O2 phone mast
United Kingdom Created: 8 Jun 2005
Morecambe today

PLANS for a mobile phone mast disguised as a lamppost have angered residents at Scale Hall.
The 15-metre mast, for O2, is planned for land fronting shops at the corner of West Drive and Scale Hall Lane.
Residents are planning to oppose the plans but their objections could come to nought.
The application benefits from a quirk in the planning law by asking for 'prior approval'. Rather than going through the normal planning process, this gives the council a short period – 56 days – to dispute some of the details in a limited way.
The authority can raise an objection if the application has an unwarranted visual impact on the area. Possible health effects cannot be taken into account.
If no objection is made within the 56-day period, O2 can go ahead with the mast.
08 June 2005


Epping Forest. Marlow: Vow to Orange: 'We'll be ready'
United Kingdom Created: 8 Jun 2005
Epping Forest Guardian
By James Webb
DETERMINED residents have warned Orange "we'll be ready" after the phone company revealed that it may re-apply to put up a mast at Marlow Football Club.
People living near the stadium, in Oak Tree Road, are preparing to lock horns with the telecommunications giant once again. Orange is currently recover-ing from the recent shock of losing its fight to build an aerial.
The Secretary of State's Planning Inspectorate threw out the 58ft application earlier this month, much to the delight of hundreds of protestors, including Green MEP Caroline Lucas.
Orange told the Free Press it would not be appealing against the decision which ruled the mast would harm the living conditions of neighbouring residents.
However, a spokesman said that they hadn't ruled out re-examining the possibility of submitting a new application.
She said: "That is still a possibility. It would not be the same as the previous application as that has already been refused but we can't confirm that we have ruled it out completely."
Residents celebrated the Planning Inspectorate's findings on Friday, May 13, which ruled the mast as "visually intrusive" and said it would "significantly impair" the lives of homeowners in Oak Tree Avenue.
However, it would appear that Orange is determined to push ahead with plans to extend its phone coverage across Marlow.
The spokesman added: "We won't be challenging the Planning Inspectorate's decision based on the fact that the inspector's comments were fair and we don't feel we would have grounds.
"However, we do still have a coverage requirement in the area and we will be sending out an engineer to the area sometime in the next few weeks. The old fire station was a site that we've lost so there is a degree of coverage which needs restoring."
She added: "The football club mast was to supply central Marl-ow so we are trying to build coverage in central Marlow at the same time as restoring coverage to that area.
Barry Fentiman, who helped set up the Local Marlow Community Campaign Group to block the mast application, warned Orange that the fight was not over.
He said: "We are very pleased that they are not going to be appealing against the decision and if they go for a different application on the football club we will be ready for them."
Tuesday 7th June 2005

Liversedge: People power
United Kingdom Created: 6 Jun 2005
PEOPLE power has stopped a mobile phone mast being built near a play area in Liversedge.
Dozens of campaigners were celebrating after Kirklees overturned the plans last Thursday.
Every councillor on the Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee voted against the application for the T-Mobile mast – despite recommendations by planning officers to give it the go ahead.
27 May 2005

Kirklees. Spenborough: People power sees mast plan rejected
United Kingdom Created: 6 Jun 2005
Spenborough today
People power has stopped a mobile phone mast being built near a play area in Frost Hill.
Dozens of campaigners were celebrating after Kirklees overturned the plans last Thursday.
Every councillor on the Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee voted against the application – despite recommendations by planning officers to give it the go ahead.
The 15-metre T-Mobile mast would have been built on the BMK Industrial Estate – just metres away from greenery used by children as a play area. Plans showed that Millbridge Junior, Infant and Nursery School was just 70 metres away from the mast and homes on Bank Street only 26 metres away.
They also revealed the mast would have included two equipment cabins and been enclosed by a two-metre high fence.
But councillors agreed with protesters and said the mast would be too close to housing and the play area.
One, ward councillor David Sheard (Lab), said other sites further away from housing were more suitable.
He said: "The amenities the residents have at the moment are very poor. There is very little open space – and a massive area of industrial land. It is too close to the amenities."
Andrew Nield, who spoke for the protesters at the meeting, said dozens of residents had signed letters of objection to the siting of the 48ft mast.
He said the location was picked by T-Mobile despite being in the middle of a residential area.
After the meeting, at Dewsbury Town Hall last Thursday, he added: "It was an amazing meeting. The councillors were smashing – they got it spot on. It's the only green area we've got and that would have been taken away. It would have taken away our privacy also.
"It's not just that an area where the kids play was being taken away, there may be health risks too."
l The committee deferred plans to build an office for Park House Healthcare at Heathfield Farm, Whitehall Road West, Birkenshaw, for a site visit. The application will be heard at next month's meeting.
l M Lockwood's application to build a dormer bungalow and first-floor extension at 17A South View Road, East Bierley, was also deferred for a site visit.
l An outline application by C Sykes for a house at the rear of 57 White Lee Road, Heckmondwike, was refused.
keir.dawson@ ywng.co.uk
27 May 2005

Upton. Chester: PROTEST OVER NEW PHONE MAST PLAN Chester Now
United Kingdom Created: 6 Jun 2005
Chester.

I represent a group of mast protesters in Westminster Park, Chester.
We have just lost an appeal by Hutchison to the Planning Inspectorate for a 3G mast which is to be located near a children’s nursery and houses.
There was an alternative site which was supported by the majority of residents and local politicians.
This was not allowed on appeal by Hutchison to the Planning Inspectorate as it was in green belt. A large Business Park has been built nearby in
green belt which makes the whole thing quite ridiculous.

We have come to the conclusion that the only way to tackle the whole issue of mobile phone masts (3G in particular) is to change the law
(as have others) – masts have to be 350m, say, from schools/residential areas/hospitals.
The only way we will get that is to peacefully demonstrate. We are trying to organise a demonstration in Chester for all groups throughout the whole of
Cheshire.
It has to be the whole of Cheshire to maintain support as groups come and go with masts being pushed into someone else’s ‘back-yard’ (as happened with us). We will also have to go back every 6 weeks as one demonstration will be ignored by this government.
Hopefully we will be able to spread the demonstrations to all other counties throughout the UK.
Will you be able to help with organisation, publicity or with establishing our policy?
Regards
Malcolm Harle
14 Manor Road, Westminster Park, Chester CH4 7QW.
Tel.: 01244 682613
harle@harle.eclipse.co.uk
*********************’

Today's press release 18 July 2005

FIFTH PHONE MAST VIGIL

After four and a half years of resistance, the first phase of the Byron Avenue phone mast battle ended last Wednesday when the 11.79 metre monopole was erected. The second phase of the campaign - to get the mast removed, begins this Wednesday when campaigner Karen Barratt holds her fifth twenty-four hour vigil on the site. She is asking everyone, who wishes to see Orange withdraw from Byron Avenue, to visit her anytime from noon on Wednesday 20 July to noon on Thursday 21 July and sign a message to the company’s Chief Executive.

Campaigners are proud that they have enabled so many children to complete their time at Western Primary School in a safe and secure environment but are worried about those who are still there. “My grandson attends the school and my little grand-daughter starts in September,” says Karen Barratt. “The Planning Inspector who gave Orange permission for this mast accepted that the beam of greatest intensity falls across the school. We have to continue this fight.” She is urging new parents to get involved in the campaign and says that moving children to other schools is no solution because the number of masts required for third generation phones means other schools are under similar threat.

END



************************************'''
PLACARD-waving protesters took to the street to show their anger against plans for a second mobile phone mast in their Chester community.
Residents in Newhall Road, Upton, are angered by the plans to build an O2 mast at the junction of Newhall Road and Handford Road.
The worried residents are concerned about the potential health effects of the base station, as they are officially called, and believe a new mast would be another eyesore
If built, it would be the second one in the area. Hutchinson 3G has already built one, despite opposition from more than 300 residents.
One of the residents angered by the plans is Sylvia Molloy, 68, who lives on Newhall Roa
She was at the forefront of the protest against the 3G mast and now plans to campaign against the new proposals.
“No-one wanted the first in this area, let alone another,” she said. “The first mast is a blot on the landscape and I believe this new one will damage my view further. If they built another, we would have two big masts in this area.
“On top of that, there are the health risks. I am very concerned about it. There will be children walking past this mast all the time.”
And because the mast is under 15 metres high, the plans will not go to a full committee meeting. Instead it will be decided by planning officials.
Upton parish councillor Pete Griffiths said: “It seems bad that it will not go to full planning committee. What are councillors for? This will probably be decided by people do not know where Upton is.
“We have too many masts in Upton as it is. We do not need another one. Why can’t they put it somewhere in Chester that does not have so many.”
Andrew Kelleher, a spokesman for O2, said: “This mast is designed to look like street furniture so it will not look particularly bad.
“O2 recognise the public’s concerns over health effects and we would like to say we work with experts and regulators and also we work within stringent guidelines.
“But we need to put a mast in there to improve reception in a high demand area.”


Glenroathes: COMPANY MOVES TO ALLAY CONCERNS
United Kingdom Created: 6 Jun 2005
A LEADING mobile 'phone company has moved to quell the storm of protest over its mast in Formonthills Road.
Last week's Gazette revealed how angry residents tried to block workmen from erecting the 15-metre-high monopole after it had been taken away for repairs.
But the firm behind the equipment, O2, has expressed its disappointment at the way events have unfolded.
Ken Leitch, O2's regional communications manager, said the company appreciated that locals had concerns.
However, he maintained there is no evidence of a link between masts and ill health.
"We've been in discussions with the community council and they've put a number of options to us," Mr Leitch said.
"Unfortunately, it's just not possible for us to move the mast.
"These things are not cheap and it costs quite a lot of money - we're talking tens of thousands of pounds.
"It's just not commercially viable for us to do that.
"But we are extremely concerned by some of the tactics that have been used and it is extremely disappointing that these things happen."
The mast had to be removed after it was badly vandalised, although O2 has now fitted CCTV cameras to its replacement as a deterrent.
Mr Leitch revealed that much of the research now being done was focusing on mobile handsets, as opposed to masts themselves.
And he maintained that masts were much less powerful than TV or radio transmitters.
"All I can do is point people to the research and I would just have to re-iterate the message that the balance of evidence says there is no risk," he continued.
"I don't have a crystal ball, but all we can do is look at what is there at the moment.
"The more masts there are, the less work your phone has to do.
"I would tell people that are using mobile 'phones to use handsfree kits wherever possible.
"But we welcome people's comments and all we can do is give people a bit more education on mobile technology, which we do on a number of occasions."
Despite the reassurances, Councillor Bill Kay said the whole affair had "alienated" the community in north Glenrothes.
He said: "It was very cursory the way the company went about things - they followed the strict legal requirements for consultation and I feel they didn't go any further than that."
But Mr Leitch responded: "The council has been quite happy that we carried out a sufficient level of consultation and I'm satisfied that our officials have done their job to the best of their abilities."
25 May 2005

Fetcham. Dorking and Leatherhead: Phone mast could threaten 'health and house prices'
United Kingdom Created: 6 Jun 2005
By Daniel Edwards. May 27 2005
Dorking and Leatherhead
A PROPOSAL by a major telecommunications company to install a mobile phone mast is causing concern among residents in Fetcham.
Mobile phone firm Vodafone has approached Mole Valley District Council to install a mast off Shamrock Close, Fetcham.
But residents living in the close are concerned about their health and the subsequent impact on the value of their properties.
Michael Cliff, who is already living 50ft from another telecommunications mast belonging to T-Mobile, said the new mast will be 28ft from his fence.
He is one of a group of residents to have written a letter in protest to the planning department to express his concerns about having a second mast placed next to his bungalow.
"When I spoke to the council they didn't seem bothered about our concerns of the impact on our health and the effects this might have on the value our property," said Mr Cliff, 73 "I am not in very good health at the moment so I am concerned about what effect this will have on me, and the value of our property.
"I have spent £28,000 on improvements on the house, but if the planning department allow the mast to be built I will never be able to sell. "If the second phone mast goes up it won't matter where you sit in the garden because all you will be able to see are these masts. "We already have one phone mast in the village so why do we need a second?"
Mole Valley's area planning manager, Gary Rhoades-Brown said: "It is inappropriate for any comment to be made on an application, but all material circumstances are fully considered before any decision is made by the council."
Jane Frapwell, public relations officer for Vodafone, said: "All Vodafone installations are designed to be compliant with stringent international guidelines and they are recommended by Government and have the general backing from the World Health Organisation.
"The guidelines are in place to protect all of us whether the mast is one or 1,000 metres away."
Florence Jack, who lives opposite Mr Cliff on Shamrock Close has written to Mole Valley's planning department and MP Sir Paul Beresford objecting to the proposal.
She said: "I wrote to the council when they put up the first mast. It's bad enough having one there, it will be visually intrusive.
"Why are they going to place the mast in a populated area?"

Battle over the mobile masts
United Kingdom Created: 6 Jun 2005
FOLLOWING the Guardian's report on the fight against new Third Generation mobile phone technology, health researchers are asking for human "guinea pigs" to expose themselves to microwave emissions.
Last week, the Guardian revealed the fight of local residents against a 3G mast, which T-mobile wants to erect just 150 metres away from Oakdale Infants and Junior School in South Woodford.
Protesting parents were alarmed after a Dutch study, the only one undertaken so far into this new technology, exposed its potential dangers to health.
Now, the Electromagnetics and Health Laboratory at the University of Essex is carrying out the largest research project of its kind into the impact of electromagnetic fields transmitted by mobile phones and 3G masts.
It is looking for volunteers willing to expose themselves to electromagnetic signals from conventional mobile phone base stations and 3G masts.
Project head Professor Elaine Fox said: "There have been a number of cases where people claim they're particularly sensitive to radio frequency electromagnetic fields and have experienced severe health effects from mobile phones and base stations. This is known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome."
Professor Fox said one of the key problems was a lack of guidelines on the symptoms of the syndrome.
The two-year study will be welcomed by many residents in Wanstead and Woodford who have been campaigning against the numbers of mobile phone masts being installed in the borough. The new 3G masts have caused even more concern.
In November, Conservative councillors in neighbouring borough Waltham Forest called for health effects to be investigated and agreed to seek cross-party support for an investigation into the raft of mobile phone mast planning applications in the pipeline.
Already there are over 80 mobile phone masts in Redbridge, but that number could increase to well over 100 if current applications are given the go-ahead in the coming months. No-one knows how many of these may be 3G masts because the mobile phone companies do not have to say.
Volunteers will be exposed alternately to electromagnetic signals from conventional mobile phone base stations and 3G masts, and to no signals at all.
Participants will be tested on four separate occasions, and neither the experimenters nor the volunteers will know when the base station is switched on or off.
The £328,00 study is being funded by the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme and each test takes two-and-a-half hours and they are held in four weekly sessions.
The university will pay £20 per session plus expenses and is hoping to test around 240 people. Anyone interested should log on to www.essex.ac.uk./psychology.EHS.
l In last week's feature on 3G mobile phone masts, the Redbridge Council comment should have said that mobile phone companies do not have to tell the council how many 3G masts are in the pipeline. We apologise for any confusion.
11:00am Thursday 10th February 2005

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