Victory over mast for residents
FOR the second time in a week, residents are celebrating after defeating moves to put a mobile phone mast near homes.Planning officers have rejected a submission by Hutchison 3G for a mast in west Felixstowe, just days after councillors refused consent for one in the same area.
FOR the second time in a week, residents are celebrating after defeating moves to put a mobile phone mast near homes.
Planning officers have rejected a submission by Hutchison 3G for a mast in west Felixstowe, just days after councillors refused consent for one in the same area.
Jubilant families in Grange Road hope they have now fought off the prospect of a mast close to their homes and nearby Maidstone Infants School.
Dave Cawdron, leader of the campaign against the ten-metre third generation aerial, said: " This is excellent news – everyone is over the moon.
"It has made all the hard work and campaigning worthwhile. We had a 600-signature petition and some brilliant support from our local councillors, and we would like to thank everyone who helped and supported us.
"We will be keeping a close eye on the situation but we hope the council will talk to Hutchison 3G and see if there are other possible sites on the edge of the town, away from houses.
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"They want to put so many masts in Felixstowe it would look like a hedgehog or a pin cushion. The government says the technology is safe, but we don't really know that yet and it will probably be many years before we can be sure."
More than 100 people took part in a demonstration, waving placards, during the campaign as they transmitted their views loud and clear about the mast planned for the grass verge at the junction of Grange Farm Avenue and Grange Road.
They were boosted by support from Maidstone Infants School, whose staff and governors were worried about the effect the masts could have on pupils' health.
A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal council said planning officers had made the decision to reject the mast after hearing councillors' views on the one planned for a grass verge in Coronation Drive.
They refused permission for that one because it would be unsightly and add clutter to a residential area, but also on health grounds, with concern that beams from the antenna would pass through children's bedrooms.
Hutchison 3G has submitted a plan to the council showing sites for around nine masts in the Felixstowe-Trimley area, which it says are needed for the new third-generation phones, which can transmit film and pictures.
This has sparked fears that many towns could see dozens of masts springing up on street corners if other phone companies follow suit.
Hutchison says the masts are smaller and less powerful than older ones on the edge of towns, and even on full power the beams would be 1,000th of the power levels set in the government guidelines.