Belper MP backs fight against phone masts

NBENLM110411E1 - Residents living near the proposed phone mast on the corner of Marsh Lane and Laund Nook Belper
NBENLM110411E1 - Residents living near the proposed phone mast on the corner of Marsh Lane and Laund Nook Belper
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A DELEGATION of residents have garnered the support of their local MP in the fight against a mobile phone mast being erected in Belper.

The group, which is predominantly opposed to a mast on the junction of Marsh Lane and Laund Nook, met Tory MP Pauline Latham.

Now she has joined the fight by writing to O2 and Vodafone, the mobile phone giants behind the plans to install this and other masts around the town, to ask for a delay in building this one.

It already has planning permission from Amber Valley Borough Council, but wants residents to be allowed to put together their opposition, with a view to taking the case to the Local Government Ombudsman or to a judicial review so it can be looked at in detail.

A spokesman for the MP said: “It is hard for Mrs Latham to get involved in local planning, but she has written to O2 and Vodafone to ask them to delay the building of the masts while the residents go through the process of taking the matter to the local government ombudsman or a judicial review.

“Mrs Latham is also looking to have an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on mobile phone masts and their safety.

“She is from the same school of thought as the residents in that even though there is no evidence to suggest masts are harmful, there are still doubts.

“Mrs Latham wants the government to take this seriously.”

Residents living in the vicinity of the proposed mast, along with parents of children who attend the nearby St John’s Primary School and members of the school’s governing board, met Mrs Latham to raise their concerns.

One of the residents, Liz Barnetson, said: “She realised that we had looked into the matter pretty carefully. She took us and our concerns seriously. But I don’t know if we will ever get this stopped.

The campaigners claim the borough council and the two phone companies did not consult locals properly and spoke with the MP on this matter.

She added: “She was told of the growing concerns of parents, with many vowing to stop their children from using the ‘three cornered rec’. She was also told that some have gone as far as to consider withdrawing their children from the school.”

The residents now have a meeting with O2 representative Jim Stevenson on Friday, April 15.

The campaigners have also set up a website and a Facebook page. These can be found at stopthephonemastbelper.co.uk and www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-the-mast-Belper.