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  Concerned residents fear telephone masts  
CALL FOR BAN: Angry mums want council to block plans
by Michael Underwood, Melton Times, December 28, 2000

Worried residents are calling for Melton Council to stop three mobile phone masts being built in the borough.

They want town planners to block plans for a 15-metre mast in Wymondham and a 15-metre mast and 30-metre tower in Somerby.

Residents say they are concerned about the potential health risks surrounding mobile phone masts and the impact they have on the beauty of villages.

Wymondham resident Patricia Smith, of Church Lane, is furious because phone giant One to One wants to erect a mast in the heart of the village in Main Street.

She said: “People are absolutely appalled and horrified at the application.

“We have sent 90 letters of complaint to the council. My objections are that this is a conservation village and we all know the mast will be totally unsightly.

“We are also concerned with the findings of the Stewart Report and a report by the Friends of the Earth about the hazards of these masts.”

Mum of two Ruth Wells celebrated after her protest against a mast being built on top of the Pera building near her home in Nottingham Road, Melton, succeeded.

She was worried about the health of her children Dominic (3) and Charlotte (2) being affected by the microwave emissions from the mast.

Mrs Wells, who says she has researched the subject extensively, said: “There was an experiment involving mice with cancer and when they were put into radiation below Government guidelines they developed twice as many cancers.”

Phone companies have swamped Melton Council with applications in recent months as a result of the growth of the mobile phone industry.

The council’s head of planning Maurice Fairhurst said the government tells local authorities to encourage the technology unless there are valid objections from the public.

The recent Stewart investigation into mobile phones and health revealed that use of mobiles can cause subtle biological effects but would not affect people’s health.

This year the council has refused planning permission for several proposed masts in borough villages following objections from residents.

But there is a worry among residents that even if planning permission is refused, the phone companies stand a good chance of overturning their decision at an appeal.

Mrs Smith and Mrs Wells said they are both worried if a council decision goes to appeal but council leader Matthew O’Callaghan said: “If there are any appeals from mobile phone companies against the council’s decisions to refuse we will fight them.”

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