Residents angry at mast appeal

NILABE100906c1, Ilkeston Oakham way residents not happy about plans for mobile mast where they stand.
NILABE100906c1, Ilkeston Oakham way residents not happy about plans for mobile mast where they stand.
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RESIDENTS have vowed to fight an appeal from mobile phone giants Vodafone and O2 to erect a mast near their homes.

Erewash Borough Council refused the application from the two telecoms companies to put up the 12.5 metres high mast and two cabinets near to homes on Wardlow Road, Oakham Way and Broadway in Ilkeston last year saying it would create ‘visual clutter.’

But now the firms are appealing to the planning inspectorate.

Keith Crabtree is spearheading the residents’ campaign.

He said: “We thought this was all over and done with so to get the letter about the appeal was an unpleasant surprise. We will do everything we can to stop this mast being built near our homes.

“There are so many reasons we don’t want it here and the council has already said no and given a perfectly valid reason for the refusal.”

Around 50 people who live near to the proposed site met at the Ebenezer Church, on Heanor Road, on Tuesday night to discuss their next move.

Mr Crabtree has drafted a letter which he plans to send to other residents to alter as they wish, sign and send off to the inspectorate.

He said: “We know all about the council saying there would be too much street furniture and the visual effects of the phone mast but it’s the effect that these masts have on people’s health that worry me.

“When I worked at Ilkeston police station some years ago I saw the installation of a phone mast near to my workplace.

“Some ten years later, I was diagnosed with cancer, as were two other colleagues who worked in the same building.

“Sadly, they have since died. I believe the emissions from that phone mast, were a contributory factor in my illness, and theirs.”

Susane Drew, of Broadway, added: “We know that health reasons can’t be given as a reason for refusal but they should be able to.

“I have a mobile phone and don’t want to give it up. We know these masts are needed but they don’t need to be so close to residential and well frequented areas.

“What I don’t understand is why they can appeal. It was refused for originally for valid reasons.”

The phone company was unavailable for comment.