Smashing time for phone protest

FAMILIES protesting over moves to site a mobile phone mast near their homes were today having a smashing time – as they let their actions do the talking.

FAMILIES protesting over moves to site a mobile phone mast near their homes were today having a smashing time – as they let their actions do the talking.

Residents in Felixstowe's Coronation Drive have pledged to fight to the bitter end to stop phone giant Hutchison 3G from putting up an aerial in their street because of severe worries over health risks.

But the company says the aerial will go up because planners, who refused the ten feet mast, failed to make their decision in time . . . by just one day.

Today campaigners gathered at the mast site, a green verge near houses, to symbolicallyhammer to pieces a number of mobile phones.

"This is the first of what will be a growing number of protests – we will not roll over and we will not give in," said Dot Paddick, town and district councillor.

"This mast was refused and should not be built. It went through the proper procedures and was decided by councillors at a planning meeting.

Most Read

"It is absurd for a company to say that it should have been decided one day earlier – if it was held one day earlier the result would have been the same! This is a democracy and we will not be ridden over roughshod.

"We will take our campaign to Downing Street if necessary. There are very real concerns about the dangers of these masts and the effect they will have on health in the future.

"Nothing has been proved at all yet – and there has been no research into this third-generation technology. You can stop your children from smoking, but then give them a mobile phone and store up worse problems.

"It is a ridiculous state of affairs. The community here is dead against this mast and for very good reasons and we would appeal to Hutchinson 3G to respect that and look for a suitable alternative site."

Mrs Paddick called for mobile masts to be sited away from housing and for a proper government-run register of sites to be set up.

Those in streets such as Coronation Drive could be sending electro-magnetic waves through children's bedrooms and into schools, and would be better on the edge of a town.

"I think it is high time the planning officers looked at the map and said we will accept masts here, here and here, but not in residential areas," she said.

"People should also have the right to know when they move into a house if there is an aerial hidden nearby in a chimney, a silo, or whatever."

Hutchinson 3G claims it can put up the mast because Suffolk Coastal took too long to make its decision and it therefore gets permission by default.

At the weekend the company said of plans for a mast near a Norwich nursery school, that it could not guarantee it would not be a health risk.

The company has already appealed over another refusal in Felixstowe and residents of Grange Road are planning to fight at an inquiry.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter