Phone Mast Objectors Lose Battle

RESIDENTS objecting to the erection of a 10m high phone mast close to their homes have lost their battle. Today (Wednesday) Stevenage Borough Council granted Vodafone approval to replace an existing lamppost on Broadhall Way in Stevenage with a 10m hi

RESIDENTS objecting to the erection of a 10m high phone mast close to their homes have lost their battle.

Today (Wednesday) Stevenage Borough Council granted Vodafone approval to replace an existing lamppost on Broadhall Way in Stevenage with a 10m high lamppost with supporting antennas and associated equipment cabinet.

Residents living in Oakwood Close and Shephall Way are a stone's throw away from the site and have protested against the proposal, but to no avail.

There's already a phone mast on the roundabout metres from the proposed site. Sondra Brandon, of Shephall Way, said: "There's too much of this going on. We are being smothered with them, bombarded by them."

Dianne Alford, of Oakwood Close, said: "I'm worried about the health implications, and it's going to be an eyesore so I'm going to ask the council to reduce my rates. Also, when we come to sell our homes it could be a disadvantage."

With regard to health implications, Vodafone claims there is no scientific evidence that radiofrequency fields from base radio stations cause adverse health effects.

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It also says base stations operate at low power and emit low levels of radiofrequency fields, and field strengths are typically hundreds to thousands of times lower than precautionary general public guidelines.

However, Heather Brady, of Oakwood Close, remains unconvinced. The 43-year-old said: "For every report that says there's nothing to worry about, there's another report that says there is. In my heart of hearts they can say it's been certified safe but I don't believe them."

She added: "I know we have got to have these masts sited somewhere, but this is right by my children's windows."

And Yvonne Hodskin, also of Oakwood Close, is equally concerned about the health implications, particularly in relation to her two children, aged four and two.

The 32-year-old said: "They can't assure me that there are no health concerns.

"Why can't the mast go further up, where there is just a field, or on the roundabout? I can't believe it's going to make too much difference to the communication."

Rob Hinkin, of Oakwood Close, also made the same suggestion, saying "They shouldn't be so near to populations. I'm not very happy about it - the look of the thing and the waves it's emitting.

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