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Protest planned over phone mast

PUBLISHED: 05:25 30 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

ANGRY householders are threatening to block their private road in a protest against the development of a mobile phone mast.

Residents living on the outskirts of Woodbridge are preparing to stop contractors' vehicles using the private Prentices Lane when they replace a 45ft mast with a taller mast.

ANGRY householders are threatening to block their private road in a protest against the development of a mobile phone mast.

Residents living on the outskirts of Woodbridge are preparing to stop contractors' vehicles using the private Prentices Lane when they replace a 45ft mast with a taller mast.

They will use their cars to barricade the entrances off the A12 to Prentices Lane and this will force contractors to find an alternative route to the existing mast.

The residents said they had to foot a £500 bill for damage to the road incurred several years ago when the mast was erected. Henry Birt, chairman of Prentices Lane Residents' Association, said: ''We were unaware a mast was going up. They arrived with their heavy equipment and lorries, and we were inundated with vehicles. This lane is not big enough for that sort of thing. The surface of the lane was damaged and we had to pay for the repairs. We were unable to get a contribution from the contractors or land owner.''

There are seven masts within a radius of about a mile from Prentices Lane. Their locations range from farmland to the petrol price noticeboard of a Shell garage.

Hutchison 3G applied for planning permission to share the existing mast in Prentices Lane and the replacement mast would be several feet taller with three more antennae and three microwave dishes.

The company was given permission by the district council by a majority of one when a vote was taken at a development control sub committee.

The firm supplied a certificate to show that the application confirmed with guidelines relating to the health issues involving the equipment.

Russell Geen, a town and district councillor living near Prentices Lane, said he was disappointed that his fellow Conservative councillors voted in favour of the mast when it was still unclear what health risks could be generated by the radiation.

''This is all about the safety of people living around this area.When are they going to stop putting up masts here? Masts should be put on the west side of Prentices Lane where there is open land,'' said Mr Geen.

Mary Liley, of Prentices Lane, said: ''I have a grand daughter, and my daughter is pregnant. My husband died of cancer. I feel fearful to have my family visit me, let along the question of my own health. Until research has proved that these masts are safe they should not be allowed anywhere near homes or people's workplaces or schools.''

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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