Mast decision due this week

RESIDENTS in south west Ipswich will find out this week if they have stopped a phone mast being built near their homes.The proposal would see a 12.5 metre phone mast placed on a grass verge that lies between the forecourt of The Belstead Arms pub and the public footpath in Radcliffe Drive.

RESIDENTS in south west Ipswich will find out this week if they have stopped a phone mast being built near their homes.

The proposal would see a 12.5 metre phone mast placed on a grass verge that lies between the forecourt of The Belstead Arms pub and the public footpath in Radcliffe Drive.

However, the application has outraged residents and more than 140 people signed a petition campaigning against the project.

Residents in the area believe the mast would look ugly, become a target for vandalism and reduce the value of the surrounding homes.


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Protestors were also concerned about the potential health risks of phone masts, especially as the planned site is only 90 metres away from the Gusford Primary School.

Governors from the school believe the project should not be granted planning permission until further scientific tests are done to prove exactly how dangerous, if at all, phone masts are.

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Dennis Shaffery, 80, of Radcliffe Drive, would be able to see the mast from his house and is one of the people against the proposal.

He believes the mast would be "unsightly" and added: "It is near the school and would be very high. They could site it somewhere else where it was not densely populated.

"We pay enough council tax not to have that stuck in front of you."

The phone mast would be used by the O2 company and the Unique Pub Company brewery, who run The Belstead Arms, gave their permission for that site to be used.

Kevin Watkins, landlord of the pub, defended the proposal and said: "It is going to look like a light pole and it is not dangerous to anybody and will increase (phone) reception to local residents.

"One or two residents are against it but some of those people will not even see it. I see no harm in it whatsoever.

"The company want a mast on the land so it is entirely up to them. At the end of the day I have to go through what the company says we have to do."

The application will be discussed at an Ipswich Borough Council planning meeting on Wednesday but the recommendation from planning officers is that the project is refused because it would represent an "isolated obtrusive structure".

n What do you think of the proposal? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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