Concern voiced over mobile phone mast

CONCERNED residents living in a picturesque town have spoken of their anger at proposals to erect a mobile phone mast near their homes.Telecommunications giant Orange has submitted an application to Suffolk Coastal District Council to erect a 33ft mast near the Seckford Heights housing development in Woodbridge.

By Danielle Nuttall

CONCERNED residents living in a picturesque town have spoken of their anger at proposals to erect a mobile phone mast near their homes.

Telecommunications giant Orange has submitted an application to Suffolk Coastal District Council to erect a 33ft mast near the Seckford Heights housing development in Woodbridge.

But residents living in the area say the mast will be an eyesore in the community and are worried about possible health impacts on their children, although no research has yet proven any links to medical conditions.

Father-of-two Will Styles, who lives near the proposed mast, said: “Local residents are up in arms at the proposal to place this monstrosity among our children.

“Orange do not need the mast to cover their transmission black spots in the area. Residents are amazed that Orange hasn't attempted to build the mast on the other side of the A12 where there are no homes.”

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The proposed mast has been earmarked for land at the end of Seckford Road East which is alongside the A12 and a public footpath.

A meeting of the Seckford Heights Residents' Association was held on Thursday night to discuss the proposals, with residents expressing their concern.

Retired teacher Jacqueline Brumer, chairman of the Seckford Heights Residents' Association, said: “There is no definitive research anywhere that these definitely have no health risks.

“So much is unknown and we must err on the side of caution particularly because this is a residential area with so many young families and schools and football clubs.

“What they are proposing at the moment will be a blight on the skyline. Their principle is supposed to be sharing the environment but Orange already have half a dozen masts in the Woodbridge area.”

A spokesman for Orange said last night: “Perhaps the industry has not done very well to explain that these masts have a very short range and because of this they need to be as near as possible to the people who are going to use the services. That includes not only residents but tradesmen and visitors to the area and those passing through.

“They have a range not more than about two miles and are operated at about 80 watts which is a little more powerful than a domestic light bulb.”

Mr Styles has now written to Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer in the hope he will fight the cause.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said the matter would be discussed during a meeting at Melton Hill Council Chambers on August 19.

She added: “If anybody has any concerns or comments as long as they write in before August 19 they will be included in the report.”

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