Victory for mast protesters

FELIXSTOWE residents are jubilant today after winning their campaign against a mobile phone mast they claim posed a danger to schoolchildren.The triumphant victory came after months of protesting against Hutchinson 3G who wanted to put the 41ft mast at the junction of Grange Road and Grange Farm Avenue in the town.

FELIXSTOWE residents are jubilant today after winning their campaign against a mobile phone mast they claim posed a danger to schoolchildren.

The victory came after months of protesting against Hutchinson 3G who wanted to put the 41ft mast at the junction of Grange Road and Grange Farm Avenue in the town.

Dave Cawdron, 41, spokesman for the residents said: "We were very concerned about the possible health risks as the frequency of the radiation they emit is not much lower than a microwave oven. They wanted to put it in a residential area, very close to four schools."

He believed the mast also posed a potential hazard to motorists. "Being right on the corner the mast would have obstructed a driver's vision, especially for the man who has to pull out of his drive right next to it.

"Vandalism is also a problem in the area and the mast would be an obvious target." Mr Cawdron added.

Protests began in August when the residents were notified that planning permission was being sought. However Suffolk Coastal Council turned the application down, but the company launched an appeal. This was subsequently withdrawn before the hearing was complete.

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Councillors Harry Dangerfield and Dot Paddick joined in the celebrations at the site yesterday afternoon. The jubilant crowd gathered with banners proclaiming their victory and toasted the success with champagne.

However this is just the first of many battles to come as Hutchinson 3G want to erect another nine masts in the area.

Mr Dangerfield said: "The councillors will remain vigilant for this and any other planning applications from Hutchinson.

"I would like to see the masts put in non-residential areas."

Mrs Paddick said: "The victory is a relief for the residents, but this is a worrying problem for the whole of the area."

Meanwhile just half a mile away, residents in Coronation Drive are concerned as another of the masts has won approval by default. The council turned down planning permission a day after their deadline so it looks like Hutchinson 3G are free to go ahead with their plans.

"Ours as a good victory but it's sad for the people in Coronation Drive and other areas. At least we can give other people hope." Mr Cawdron added.

If anyone wants advice on protesting against such masts they can phone Mr Cawdron on 01394 276846.

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