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Mast set for Kirton

PUBLISHED: 22:40 12 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010

ALLOTMENT holders who fear their village could become a phone mast jungle look set to lose their battle to stop another being put up.

Gardeners and other residents are orchestrating a protest campaign because they fear they could suffer adverse health risks from radiation from the masts.

ALLOTMENT holders who fear their village could become a phone mast jungle look set to lose their battle to stop another being put up.

Gardeners and other residents are orchestrating a protest campaign because they fear they could suffer adverse health risks from radiation from the masts.

But mobile phone company Orange, which wants to put up a 14.5 metre high mast close to 30 allotments in Back Road, Kirton, look as if they will get planning permission.

Suffolk Coastal council's development control sub committee meets on December 19 and is being recommended to approve the scheme as long as the total radiation from the mast's antennae does not exceed guidelines.

A report to councillors says the mast would be 4.2 metres smaller than one refused for the site previously, and although it will stand just 22 metres away from another, the pair will be visually acceptable.

Residents are worried though about possible health risks to primary schoolchildren, users of the recreation ground and gardeners from the mast for third generation mobile phones.

John Pardy, an allotment holder of Meadowlands, Kirton, said: "There are plenty of areas away from the village which could equally be used for siting a mast if it was necessary. There is no need for it to be close to the village."

The allotments are run by the Nassau charity, founded in 1807 to provide for poor people in the village. Rents from the 2.5-acre site are used to fund expenses including school trips, hospital visits and fuel bills.

Trustee Susan Harvey said: "Danger to allotment holders is of paramount importance – they will be working within the exclusion zone.

"The trust land is also being devalued. There must be more remote farmland where this new mast could be sited so that it would not be a blot on the landscape on entering Kirton.

"There should be more control on where these masts suddenly appear – we could have a jungle of them in this field over the next few years."

Crown Castle UK, agents acting for Orange, said the company would have been content to share the existing mast and not to put up a second structure.

"The prior consultation exercise resolved that it was the head-frame which the council most wanted to avoid. It was pointed out that this could only be achieved by erecting an additional structure, but it was confirmed that this would be preferred," he added.

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