Search

New mobile row at Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 22:00 12 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 March 2010

PLANNERS who missed a deadline for rejecting a mobile phone mast by just one day have at last apologised to families who will have the aerial outside their homes.

PLANNERS who missed a deadline for rejecting a mobile phone mast by just one day have at last apologised to families who will have the aerial outside their homes.

Officers at Suffolk Coastal have appealed to Hutchison 3G to respect the council's decision to refuse the mast in Coronation Drive, Felixstowe, but at present the company is planning to press ahead with it.

Residents are furious because they thought they had won their fight when the council rejected the aerial because of worries over health risks and because it would be unsightly in a residential area.

But the company says it has deemed consent for the mast because the council took 57 days to decide the application instead of the regulation 56 days.

Led by town councillor Dot Paddick, residents are keeping up their protest campaign. They have been writing letters to councils and government, and also held a mobile phone smashing ceremony at the mast site.

In a letter to Felixstowe Town Council, Bob Chamberlain, assistant director of planning and leisure at Suffolk Coastal, said it was unfortunate that the council had not given serious consideration to the interpretation of the 56-day rule.

"At this stage, an apology is all that can be offered with an assurance that a lesson has been learned for the future," he said.

The council is arranging a meeting between councillors, residents and the phone company to discuss health fears concerning the mast and its base station to try to allay worries over exposure to pulsed high frequency microwave radiation.

The council's solicitors examined the case in great detail but felt it was not worth taking the matter to court as Hutchison 3G has a strong case for claiming it now had permission for the mast.

The mast is to be put up on a green verge in an area where many families with young children live. They fear microwave radiation will go through children's bedrooms and that youngsters at a nearby school could also be at risk.

Mrs Paddick has called on planners to draw up a map showing where phone masts would be acceptable – and for that area to be on the outskirts of towns and not in housing areas.

"We should be able to tell the phone companies where they can and cannot put a mast in order to protect people from what is still a new technology – we will not know the health problems it may bring for many years yet," she said.

n What do you think – are you worried about living near a mobile phone mast? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star