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Phone mast campaigners take to road

PUBLISHED: 12:27 03 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:57 03 March 2010

FAMILIES today blockaded the site of a controversial mobile phone mast to stop contractors putting up the aerial.

Five cars and a former army truck were placed on the site in Felixstowe after residents heard that Hutchison 3G was about to start work on putting up the ten metre high mast.

FAMILIES today blockaded the site of a controversial mobile phone mast to stop contractors putting up the aerial.

Five cars and a former army truck were placed on the site in Felixstowe after residents heard that Hutchison 3G was about to start work on putting up the ten metre high mast.

A radio antenna was also extended from the army lorry to show the full height that the mast – which will be opposite family homes – would reach.

The action followed a public meeting at which residents were told that they should be able to sue Suffolk Coastal council for compensation if the mast is put in place in Coronation Drive.

One resident told the Evening Star today: "We are not really interested in money – we just don't want to have this mast right outside our homes and close to where children live and play.

"There has been no proper research about microwave radiation from these masts and we don't want to take a chance on the danger.

"If the mast has to go up, then of course we will sue the council."

Suffolk Coastal refused permission for the mast but then discovered it failed to meet the deadline for rejecting the aerial by one day – taking 57 instead of 56 – and now Hutchison 3G claims it has deemed permission to put up the pole.

It was refused because it would be seriously detrimental to the neighbourhood and health risk worries as it would send rays through children's bedrooms.

In a similar case in Swindon, where the council also intended to refuse an aerial but missed the deadline, seven households were awarded £117,000 after showing that the mast had devalued their properties.

In the landmark case, an Ombudsman decided there had been "maladministration causing injustice" and ordered independent valuations of the homes affected with and without the mast.

The council was told to pay the difference – owners will get between £10,000 and £20,000.

No-one was available today from Hutchison 3G to talk about the mast.

n What do you think – would you be 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

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