Cemetery phone mast anger
OWNERS of a Suffolk cemetery have today defended proposals to allow a mobile telephone mast at the site.Felixstowe Town Council have offered land at the town's Langley Avenue cemetery for a mast after a site at Grange Farm Avenue and Garden Field was rejected following protests by residents about health hazards.
OWNERS of a Suffolk cemetery have today defended proposals to allow a mobile telephone mast at the site.
Felixstowe Town Council have offered land at the town's Langley Avenue cemetery for a mast after a site at Grange Farm Avenue and Garden Field was rejected following protests by residents about health hazards.
Now a different set of residents have been angered as those living in the Langley Road area say they do not want the 15-metre high mast either.
But the town council said it is a suitable site because it is “some distance” from homes, and network provider O2 said the mast is needed to meet customer demand in the area.
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The first planning application prompted a 54-signature petition because it was in the middle of a housing estate and large numbers of children pass by on their way to and from four schools.
Town clerk Susan Robinson said: “There were real concerns about siting this mast near to houses and so we have offered a site on the new cemetery extension in Langley Avenue, which is some distance from any homes.
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“The town council will get a small income from the mast and this will be used to improve the facilities at the cemetery.”
Husband and wife Andy and Tracey Laflin, of Mill Lane, are among the newly concerned neighbours.
Mr Laflin said: “It's not just the visual side we disagree to. Obviously the last thing I want to see is a big 15metre mast stuck up near my house but we are also concerned about the health side of things and the inappropriateness of having a mobile phone mast in a cemetery of all places.
“I went to the cemetery and spoke to a few people who were attending graves and they were horrified. It's just not suitable.
“We think the residents deserve to be listened to on this one.”
James Stevenson, O2 spokesman, said: “We always try our best to ensure they fit in with the surrounding scene so they don't look too out of place or stand out too much.
“On the health side, we have got a lot of evidence from different scientific organisations from over the years and not one has found any health effects from phone antennas. We don't think there's a problem there.”
Suffolk Coastal District Council said it hopes a planning decision will be made by September 22.
Do you think the cemetery is an appropriate place for the new mast? Do you think you know of a more appropriate site? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail email@example.com